In the latest incident of ‘cow vigilantism’, two Muslim women were beaten, kicked and abused by a mob at the railway station in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, on rumours that they were carrying beef, NDTV reported. The incident took place in front of the police, who were at the station to detain the two women, and numerous bystanders.
A video recorded by one of the many spectators shows the police making half-hearted attempts to control the crowd.
The police were at the station to detain the two women after they received a tip that they were carrying beef to sell it. The assault lasted for close to half an hour after being detained by the police, until one of the women collapsed, the NDTV report says. The video shows people shouting ‘gau mata ki jai‘ (hail the mother cow) as they kicked and physically abused the women.
Around 30 kg of meat was found with the women, but deemed to be buffalo, and not cow meat by a local doctor, police told NDTV. The women have been charged nonetheless, since they did not have a licence to sell meat.
No action has been taken against the people who attacked the women.
This incident sparked off a heated debate in the Rajya Sabha today, with Mayawati asking tough questions of BJP’s Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. She aked why Dalits and Muslims should suffer in the name of ‘gau raksha‘.
“I want to ask Mr Naqvi, women of your community have been attacked. You must answer to this house. Muslim women were assaulted in the name of cow protection – it is shameful and unacceptable,” she said.
A spokesperson for the Congress said that there can be no room for cow vigilantism, but qualified the importance of protecting cows.
This incident occurred while protests continue in Gujarat over ‘gau rakshaks’ beating up a Dalit family in Una for skinning a dead cow.