'Breach of Peace': Rajasthan Admin Show Causes Cow Lynching Victims' Families Over Protests

Junaid and Nasir's families have also accused the local MLA Zahida Khan, a Congress leader and the state's education minister, of pressuring them to withdraw the protest. 

New Delhi: The Rajasthan administration has slapped a show cause notice on 12 relatives and friends of Junaid and Nasir – two men who were killed on suspicion of cow smuggling in Haryana – saying that their agitation demanding justice has “breached peace” in the region.

The notice, sent by Bharatpur district administration and signed by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate Sunita Yadav, reads, “By conducting your activities…you are disturbing peace in the region and are to appear before a court on February 27.”

When The Wire called SDM Yadav and asked why the notices were sent to the protesters, she stated, “We are maintaining law and order in the region. Everything is being done as per instructions, in coordination with the police. I was to issue the notices as per police instructions in order to maintain peace in the region.”

Junaid and Nasir’s families have also accused the local MLA Zahida Khan, a Congress leader and the state’s education minister, of pressuring them to withdraw the protest.

Speaking to The Wire, Jabir Khan who is related to both Junaid and Nasir, said MLA Khan visited the families and asked them to stop protesting if they wanted a solution to the case. Khan’s visit Ghatmeeka on February 16, during which she promised compensation to the family, was public. However, the protesters now say that she warned them to stop protesting.

“She said that otherwise she will tamper with the evidence in the matter,” Jabir added. He said that he has had to switch off his phone as he was getting repeated calls from MLA Khan to stop protesting. 

Talim, Nasir’s nephew, gave The Wire a similar account.

The Wire has tried reaching MLA Khan but her phone has been unresponsive. This account will be updated with her response, if it comes.

Jabir and a few others have been agitating since February 17 for the arrest of Bajrang Dal leader and member of the Haryana government’s cow protection task force Monu Manesar. Monu is one of the accused in the case and is believed to be influential. On February 22, Jabir and the other protesters led a rally through the village with demands to ban Bajrang Dal and for the arrest of all accused.

“We were protesting peacefully, but today many have lost hope, and we are being pressured by the Rajasthan government not to protest. Our brothers have died and we can’t even protest?” Wasim Akram, one of the protesters, told The Wire.

Among those named in the ‘breach of peace’ notice are Hanif Maulana, Mohammad Jabir, Mukhtar Ahmed, Fakruddin, Kamil, Wasim, Nisar, Aasar, Saddam, Chand, Raees, and Sher.

“Out of 12 who got the notice, four have left the village in fear,” Wasim added. 

Jabir said that the notices and alleged threats won’t stop them.

“This is not about Junaid and Nasir, this is about Pehlu, Akhlaq, Umar, and the future of Muslims in India. These notices can’t stop us.” Jabir said.

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Haryana, Hindu Mahapanchayats have continued to show support to the cow vigilantes, especially Monu, with charged language calling for violence against Muslims.