‘Where is the beef?’
Two Muslim women were slippered and thrashed at a busy railway station in India recently for allegedly carrying beef. Policemen were around but didn’t intervene. Passersby captured the shellacking on their smartphones and the video went viral on social media.
The video eventually made its way to India’s Parliament, causing an uproar among lawmakers. But so far no action’s been taken against their attackers. Instead, the two women who were beaten up were taken into custody for carrying, as it turns out, 30 kilos of buffalo meat. Bringing buffalo meat into the Madhya Pradesh area without permission is illegal.
For the majority of Hindus, the cow is a sacred animal, and beef has been banned in several Indian states.
Until recently, India’s been celebrating its “unity in diversity.” But the so-called “cow vigilantism” and right wing extremism became a national issue last December when Mohammad Akhlaq, a resident of Dadri in Uttar Pradesh, was lynched in broad daylight on suspicion of storing beef at his house.
These two Muslim women were reportedly beaten up by self-proclaimed “cow vigilantes.”
This is only one out of a series of similar incidents this year. In January, a Muslim couple was assaulted by seven members of Gau Raksha Samiti on suspicion of carrying beef. Several weeks ago, four Dalit men were stripped and caned with steel rods for skinning a dead cow. The video also went viral on the Internet.
Earlier this month, two men were forced to eat a mixture of cow dung, cow urine, milk, curd and ghee in the state of Haryana as punishment for transporting beef.
Meanwhile, BJP lawmaker Yashpal Sisodia justified the beating, saying “Those women are criminals and it was women who beat them up, so it’s a reaction to an action.”