Two Dalit Brothers Allegedly Stripped, Beaten for Skinning Dead Cow in Andhra Pradesh

Rescued cattle are seen at a "goushala", or cow shelter, run by Bharatiya Gou Rakshan Parishad, an arm of the Hindu nationalist group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), at Aangaon village in Maharashtra. February 20, 2015. Credit: Reuters/Shailesh Andrade

The Dalit brothers were beaten for skinning a cow that had died of electrocution. Credit: Reuters/Shailesh Andrade

Two Dalit brothers were allegedly tied to a coconut tree, stripped and beaten by a mob of  gau rakshaks for skinning a dead cow in Andhra Pradesh on Monday. The incident occurred in Amalapuram in the state’s East Godavari district.

According to NDTV, Mokati Elisha and his brother Lazar were hired to skin a cow that had died of electrocution, the police said.

The owner of the cow, a vegetable vendor, engaged the two men to skin the animal before it was buried. While they were on the job, the brothers were attacked by nearly 100 gau rakshaks who accused them of stealing and killing the animal.

The two were admitted to a hospital in Amalapuram for treatment and Elisha’s condition was said to be serious, PTI reports. “We have registered a case under SCs/STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against some persons, who are yet to be identified. We are investigating the case and gathering clues about the suspects,” a police official said over phone from Amalapuram.

Two of the suspects have been identified as Gangadhar and Ramana.

The attack came just days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned cow vigilantes against taking the law into their own hands.

Modi had asked people to beware of “fake” cow protectors as they were trying to create “tension and conflict” in the society and said that “if you have to attack, attack me” but stop attacking “my Dalit brethren”.

(With PTI inputs)