In a shocking development on Thursday, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi denied the reports of murder of a Muslim man by right-wing terrorists in Rajasthan’s Alwar district.
Naqvi’s comments that “No such incident took place as described by opposition in the house” triggered angry protests from opposition parties in the parliament.
According to NDTV, while responding to opposition protests in the Rajya Sabha, Naqvi said the state government had denied the incident.
Angry Congress’s Ghulam Nabi Azad, “The minister is ill-informed. Indian and Foreign press has written that man was beaten to death.”
When asked if he wanted the prime minister and the Rajasthan chief minister to speak on Pehlu Khan’s murder, his brother said, “We are helpless people. We want them to speak, we will listen. What else can we do but listen?”
Meanwhile, Indian Express revealed that the victim was a dairy farmer and not cow smuggler as alleged by the right-wing terrorists and reported by media.
Pehlu, according to the report, was hoping to increase milk production during Ramzan. But on Saturday, he decided to buy a milch cow instead, as the seller extracted 12 litres of milk in front of him and offered him a good deal. That decision cost him his life.
A group of right-wing terrorists had killed Pehlu on the suspicion of cow smuggling in Rajasthan’s Alwar district.
CAUGHT ON CAMERA: 100 Gau Rakshaks assault 15 Muslim men; Cow vigilantism kills 1 in Alwar, Rajasthan pic.twitter.com/BEjGjj8wR6
— News18 (@CNNnews18) April 5, 2017
Police said that others, who were attacked, were either undergoing treatment in hospital or had been taken in judicial custody.
In contrast, the attackers have not yet been arrested. The police said they had filed a case of murder against six individuals and 200 unknown people.
Shockingly, local reporters working for national TV channels were aware of the incident, which took place on 4 April, but the senior editors were reluctant to carry the news because of its adverse impact on the state’s BJP government led by Vasundhara Raje.
One reporter, who was one of the first journalists to get hold of the video, said, “Our editors weren’t keen to run the story in the beginning. My sense was that they didn’t want the BJP government’s image to be dented.”
Raje’s home minister, GC Kataria, had justified Khan’s murder saying that both the victim and the murderers were at fault.
He told ANI, “Both sides are guilty particularly when you know cow smuggling is unlawful. There are laws against it.”