Man's life worth less than 'sacred cows' in India after lynching of Muslim
A man from Rajasthan died after being lynched by a group of "cow protectors". He was carrying a freshly bought dairy cow. The policemen are accused of delaying intervention because they were drinking tea. Several Indian states impose the ban on slaughter of cattle.
New Delhi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Indian police have opened an investigation into the behavior of some Rajasthan officers, who would have waited about three hours before rescuing a Muslim man lynched by a group of radical Hindus "cow protectors".
According to the witnesses, after hearing about the assault, the policemen would first have finished sipping their tea, then they would take care of the health of the cow owned by the injured.
Only then did they bring the injured man to the hospital: here Akbar Khan, 28, died of serious injuries. The incident has provoked angry reactions on social media and family members, who claim that the man could have been saved, if only the agents had cared more for his life than that of the cow.
The incident of violence took place in the Alwar district last 20 July. The assault was recounted to Al Jazeera by Aslam Khan, a friend who was in the company of the deceased. He reports that the two were surrounded by a group of assailants while carrying two newly purchased dairy cows.
The nationalists arrived on motorcycles firing shots into the air. At that point the Muslims tried to hide in a nearby cotton field, but for Akbar there was no escape. "I heard him shouting - the friend says - but I escaped to save myself".
The autopsy investigations conducted on the body of the Muslim reveal the signs of brutal violence: several broken ribs and water in the lungs. O.P. Galhotra, head of the state police, reports that "from the beginning doubts have been raised about police behavior. We have created a group that will have to investigate the circumstances that led to delayed transport to hospital".
In India, the cow is the sacred animal for Hindus and because of this fanatical nationalists justify the use of violence against those who dare even to transport them to the market. The issue has provoked bitter tensions between the Muslim and Hindu communities, following several episodes of violence over the last year by those who present themselves as "cows protectors".
The Supreme Court also had to intervene on the issue to annul the ban on the slaughter of cattle that some States led by the Hindu nationalist party BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) had approved. Established in an official way to protect the sacredness of the animal, in reality the ban discriminates the Islamic minority in particular.