A mob of “gau rakshaks” allegedly beat up two Dalits in East Godavari district after they skinned a cow which had died due to electrocution, police said today.
The incident took place at Janakipeta in Amalapuram town of the district in Andhra Pradesh.
According to police, after the cow died due to electrocution, its owner, a farmer, engaged the two Dalits to skin the animal before it was buried last night.
On getting to know of the skinning, the “gau rakshaks” (cow vigilantes) went to the place and beat up the duo, identified as Mokati Elisha and Lazer and are brothers. The vigilantes suspected that they had killed the animal.
2 Dalit men thrashed allegedly by ‘Gau-Rakshaks’ in Andhra Pradesh https://t.co/CNwDz8DSeS— NDTV (@ndtv) August 10, 2016
The two victims were admitted to a hospital in Amalapuram for treatment and Elisha’s condition was said to be serious.
“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 the phone from Amalapuram.
A police official told India Today that they had arrested two persons and were on the lookout for five others who were absconding.
The incident has taken place when the flogging of a Dalit family at Una in Gujarat last month created a countrywide uproar over cow vigilantism.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his first public denouncement of cow vigilantes, had said that he felt enraged at such “anti-social elements”, who indulged in crimes by the night and masqueraded as cow protectors by the day.
A day later in Telangana, 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 bretheren”.
Featured image: Representational image| Reuters