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Police in India arrest suspected cow vigilantes after Muslim killed

15 November 2017

ALwar: Umar Khan, who was recently killed in an exchange of fire with alleged cow vigilantes at Alwar in Rajasthan, had a history of cow-smuggling and his accomplice Tahir, who was injured in the incident, was a habitual offender, the police said today. Ilyas Mohammed, the uncle of Ummar, said in the FIR, "People who surrounded their vehicle claimed to be cow vigilantes and were calling out for a person called Rakesh among them". Khan's dismembered body was found on the railway tracks in Govindgarh in Alwar district on Friday.

Alwar Additional Superintendent of Police Mool Singh Rana said both "gau rakshaks" have confessed to the assault.

Hardline Hindu groups have gained prominence since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014, and the protection of cows, considered holy by many in the Hindu-majority country, is a priority for them.

The Alwar Police have also lodged a case of cow smuggling against Ummar Khan, and two others - Tahir Khan and Javed.

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Four other accused in the case have also been identified by the police. "They were arrested late Thursday night", SP Alwar Rahul Prakash said. "When it did, they first threw nails in its path, but the pick-up truck moved on for a few metres", said Rana. "There has been several such incidents when Gau Rakshaks have even stopped empty trucks and robbed the driver", said the Sarpanch.

Umar, Tahir and Javed belong to Bharatpur and were traveling in a pick up van along with 5-6 cows.

The family of Umar had raised a hue and cry on Sunday at the Alwar hospital, where his body was kept.

His family members refuse a post mortem until the demand of immediate arrest of the accused and compensation of Rs 50 lakh and a government job for Umar's kin met. Umar died whereas Tahir, who had sustained injuries, was admitted in a private hospital in Haryana. "One is under the Rajasthan Bovine Act and the other is a murder case registered on the basis of complaint given by Umar's relative", Prakash said.

Police in India arrest suspected cow vigilantes after Muslim killed