While I wish Pehlu Khan’s soul should be resting in his heavenly abode, Rajasthan’s Ummar Khan, a 35-year-old dairy farmer from Bharatpur, was also given the same death sentence as Pehlu was awarded by the so-called ‘cow vigilantes’.
In April this year, 55-year-old Pehlu Khan was lynched by cow vigilantes in Alwar. He was just transporting cattle but cow protectors didn’t like it and beat him mercilessly. Two days later, he died of his injuries. The self-styled cow protectors charged him with cattle smuggling and decided to pass the verdict by themselves. The incident triggered widespread outrage but couldn’t bring up any strict laws to control the cow protectors.
In the latest case, Ummar Khan, whose dismembered body was found on the railway tracks near Govindgarh in Alwar district of Rajasthan a few days ago is reportedly believed to be shot dead by cow vigilantes. The body was sent for post-mortem as requested by the family of the deceased, though the report was awaited by the time of filing this piece.
Alwar’s Meo Panchayat chief Sher Mohammad alleged Ummar was killed by the cow vigilantes and then to cover up the murder they threw his body at the railway tracks to make it look like an accident. “Who has given the cow vigilantes the right to take the law into own hands? Police should act against them,” he said.
Ummar Khan belonged to the Meo community which has a dominant presence in Mewat region falling over Rajasthan, Haryana and some parts of Uttar Pradesh. The deceased was a dairy farmer in Ghatmika. The incident happened when he along with two others was transporting cattle.
According to the Circle Officer, Alwar South, Anil Beniwal there were three cows and three calves in the pickup vehicle which was found in Alwar. “The pickup had three cows and three calves — one of the cows was dead. The front two tyres were missing and both rear tyres were punctured. Later, a dead body was also found about 15 kilometres away in Ramgarh area by the railway tracks. His relatives identified him as Ummar, aged about 35 years, and hailing from Bharatpur,” he added.
It’s not the first case that made me sit back and think which direction India is heading to. Last year, when many people died due to the sudden implementation of demonitisation, I felt the same anguish as most of you experienced but then I thought our economy is going to get better, India is progressing.
Then, early this year, when I wrote about Pehlu Khan’s untimely and unfortunate death, I again thought India is a progressive country, may be at a slow pace but it is going ahead. But not now!
If our countrymen are losing lives after lives and falling prey to a set of self-styled gau rakshaks, India is not progressing at all. No country can ever grow when its people are lynched and killed in broad daylight on the roads. All these advertised economic reforms are meaningless if the people of the country are unsafe. Unsafe not from terrorists, global warming threats, insurgents but from just groups of people who are allegedly supported by right-wing activists or Hindutva elements.
Really! Is India falling short of resources to actually build a manforce which can control these elements?
The continuous episodes of lynching and brutal killings on suspicion of cattle smuggling should be considered sufficient to prove the apathetic attitude of the government which we chose three years back expecting that a better layer of protection and growth will envelop around every Indian citizen, which apparently never happened.
The foremost quality of a good leader is accountability. The premiere of the country should know what’s happening at the grassroots level and help his people whenever they face a problem, especially when their lives are in danger. We expect him to take the responsibility of the 1.324 billion people of India each one of whom has the right to live.
Though there is a lack of government action in controlling the rising crime in the society but parking all the blame on someone else will not bring any solution to the problem.
We need to do some soul-searching at individual levels as well. As together we all form this society and we all are responsible for our actions in one way or the other.
The fact is that we are facing the right way to channelize our thoughts and energies. Until we take the reins of our minds in our hands, someone else will keep on controlling us.
All the persons falling in the community of criminals or gau rakshaks cannot be reformed only with the legal course of punishments. As they say, a crime is first committed in the mind. A criminal mindset cannot be reformed only with physical punishments. Once a criminal is out of jail, chances are he will again commit a crime.
Hence, we need to go with a complete body, mind and soul reformation plan and we need it not only for the criminals in the jail rather for all of us as every other day a person among us is turning into a criminal. And going with the daily reports, children are also no longer immune to criminal tendencies. Due to unmanageable stress and improper guidance, we are turning into the breed of the most selfish animals on this planet.
The need is to terminate this pattern and adopt a more humane approach towards other human beings. Let’s learn more, than yearn for more.
Yashica Jalhotra is about to get freedom from the Kihar Jail of Delhi and looking for a mind, body, soul solution before she is back in the jail for committing another such crime. Send her advice