Haryana: 'Killed by Cow Vigilantes,' Say Family of Muslim Man Who Cops Claim Died in Accident

Members of 22-year-old Waris's family have alleged that it was cow vigilantes who gave chase to his car, causing it to crash. They then beat up Waris and others, his family claimed. Later, Waris succumbed to his injuries.

New Delhi: A 22-year-old has died due to what his family has claimed is a beating by cow vigilantes who suspected that he was smuggling cattle, in Haryana’s Nuh district. Police have offered a different account, saying that he died after his car collided with a tempo.

Journalist Zakir Ali Tyagi is among those who have tweeted on the incident, noting that the victim, Waris, was beaten up by Bajrang Dal workers. Ali Tyagi’s tweet said that Waris’s family had said, “The police are calling the killing an accident so as to save the people of Bajrang Dal.”

In a video that the journalist posted alongside the tweet, a videographer is heard asking three visibly injured men what their names are. One of the men who identifies himself as Nafis is manhandled on video. One of the three identifies himself as Waris.

Local social activists have told news channels that the video is ‘evidence’ of rightwing organisation workers’ culpability and have demanded justice.

Indian Express has reported that police have claimed that Waris was travelling in a car with Nafis and Shaukeen on January 28. At 5 am, the car collided with a tempo. The driver of the tempo, Abdul Karim, wrote in his police complaint that he called police at the emergency number, 112. While Karim was uninjured, his son who was riding the tempo with him, and the three in the car were all injured, Karim wrote.

Karim also wrote that police arrived just as “some members of the Gau Raksha Dal from Tauru” reached the spot. Karim wrote that a cow was in the back seat of the car, that it was injured and that the cow vigilantes “rescued” it.

Waris’s family have alleged that it was the cow vigilantes who gave chase to the car, causing it to crash. They then beat up the three, the family has said.

According to police, the three were taken to the community health centre at Tauru. Waris and Nafis were referred to the Nalhar government medical college, where the former died.

Police have lodged an FIR on Karim’s complaint under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and sections of Haryana’s cow protection laws.

Rashtriya Lok Dal spokesperson Bhupender Chaudhary has tweeted that he wasn’t able to watch the video showing Waris being beaten because it was painful and called for justice.