Three meatÂ traders were attacked by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) workers near Muslim street, Kottarakkara, Kollam for cow trade. The attackers alleged that the victims were smuggling cows in unsafe conditions.
Meat trader Jalal, his relative Jaleel and driver Sabu were moving cattle from Vayankara Market to Kottarakara when a group of young men came on a motorcycle and brutally attacked them. The injured were then admitted to Taluk Hospital, Kottarakkara. Speaking toÂ Newsclick report,Â Jalal said, “We were coming from Charummoodu cattle market along with cattle and heading towards our hometown Kottarakkara. Suddenly, we noticed that two people were following our vehicle by bike. When we reached Muslim street, they stopped our vehicle and started arguing about where we are taking this cattle to and started manhandling us.”
Jalal further added that he was bringing the cattle to sell in his hometown but these (RSS) people argued with them, saying that cow-dung was flung on their face, which was a false allegation.
The police have arrested two RSS workers Vishnu S Pillai and Gopakumar, both from Puthoor, in connection to the incident. The Circle Inspector of Kottarakkara said that one of the accused, Vishnu is a soldier in the Indian Army. Charges of attempt to manslaughterÂ have been slapped on both of them while the accused have claimed that the incident was caused by a quarrel with the victims over not letting their vehicle pass. The Communist Party Of India (CPIM)Â have staged a march as a protest to the incident. A counter case was also registered against 7 people including Jalaludheen, Jaleel, and Sabu on the complaint of manhandling by the accused.
Taking cognizance of the media reports regarding the issue State Minorities Commission directed Kollam Rural Police chief to submit an emergency report regarding the issue.P.K.Haneefa, Chairman of the State Minorities Commission told that action would be taken after the tabling of the reports.
This is not the first time that people are assaulted in the name of the cow in Kerala. On 17 April 2017, the house of Kallarackal Jose of Karumallor was attacked by a groupÂ of RSS men in Alangad because a cow was allegedly slaughtered on the eve of Easter.
Mohammad Shihad, a social activist from Kerala opined, “In Kerala, we have been experiencing continuous attacks from fringe elements and in many cases, there were no follow-ups. Sometimes, we feel that the Sangh Parivar is controlling the police force in Kerala. The case of Hadiya, Ghar Wapsi, Riyas Moulavi, Faisal Murder, WhatsApp Harthal, are the all examples where the Muslims felt that the police were safeguarding the interests of the RSS and BJP.” Quote Newsclick.
According to IndiaSpend, a data-journalism website, 97% of all cow-vigilante attacks reported since 2010 took place after the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014, with Narendra Modi as the prime minister. Most have targeted Muslims and Dalits. In a report published in January, Human Rights Watch, a global campaigning group, wrote that the Indian government has failed to investigate the attacks in a credible fashion, while â€œmany senior BJP leaders publicly promoted Hindu supremacy and ultra-nationalism, which encouraged further violence.â€