While slapping and beating the Christian tribals with sticks attackers also forced them to chant “Jai Shri Ram”.
NEW DELHI — A gang of over two dozen cow vigilantes beat up and tortured seven Christian villagers on allegations of cow slaughter in a Jharkhand village, Telegraph India, a Kolkata- based newspaper, reported on Saturday.
The incident of hate crime happened on September 16 in Simdega district but came to light only on September 25 after a local news portal reported.
The police have registered a case and arrested four of the several accused. Speaking with Clarion India, an official at the Simdega police station said the Christians were insulted with casteist slurs in the incident and hence a case under SC/ST Act had been filed. He said they had invoked different Sections of the Act for insulting, assault and criminal intimidation.
The report cited 26-year-old Deepak Kullu, a tribal Christian, saying that a group of more than 25 people armed with sticks and rods, had entered the village on September 16 morning. The men were apparently residents of nearby villages.
Deepak, according to Telegraph, said: “I saw them beating a villager, Raj Singh Kullu, and hurling caste-related expletives at his wife Jacqueline Kullu. When I sought an explanation, they started abusing me also with casteist slurs, and accused us of slaughtering cows.”
“Raj continued to plead that no one had killed any cows. But the mob showed us what seemed to be a fake video of an elderly man from a neighbouring village saying he had seen cows being
The mob dragged Deepak and six other Christian tribal men from the village to neighbouring Mahato Tola, about half a kilometre away, all the while slapping and beating them with sticks and forcing them to chant “Jai Shri Ram”.
The mob forced them to squat under a tree and shaved part of their heads despite victims pleading that they did not commit cow slaughter.
Jharkhand banned cow slaughter in 2005. The previous BJP-led government was strict against cow slaughter which emboldened the Hindu extremists to attack minorities under the pretext of cow slaughter leading to a spike in vigilante acts.
“The attackers called the local Simdega police station, accusing us of cow slaughter. The police arrived in a few minutes and took us to the police station,” Deepak said.
“The police searched our homes but could not find any trace of cow slaughter and released all of us later in the day. The next day, Jacqueline lodged complaints with the Simdega police station and the district SC/ST police station.”
Telegraph quoted SP Tabrez saying: “A case has been registered under the SC/ST Act and several Indian Penal Code sections. A special investigation team led by the sub-divisional police officer is conducting raids to arrest the remaining accused.”
The victims have been identified as Raj, Deepak, Emmanuel Tete, Sugad Dang, Sulin Barla, Soshan Dang and Sem Kido.
The police named the nine attackers who were part of the mob: Nayan Keshri, Sonu Singh, Sonu Nayak, Tulsi Sahu, Shrikant Prasad, Deepak Prasad, Aman Keshri, Rajendra Prasad and Nakul Patar.
“We have arrested Sonu Singh, Sonu Nayak, Nayan and Rajendra so far,” Rabindra Prasad Singh, officer in charge of Simdega police station, told Telegraph. “We searched every house whose occupants were accused of cow slaughter but found nothing conclusive.”