A 22-year-old Muslim youth Waris was killed in Nuh district of the Indian state of Haryana. Family members of Waris said he died of injuries he sustained after being assaulted by members of Bajrang Dal on suspicion of cow smuggling.
However, the police have another version. Waris, a car mechanic and a resident of Hussainpur village in Nuh district, died in an accident, they claimed.
Shamim, a family friend of Waris and a local activist, told media that the victim was a mechanic and had nothing to do with the cow business.
Waris, he said, was waylaid by Hindutva vigilantes led by Bajrang Dal leader, Monu Manesar, when he and some of his associates were heading to Bhiwadi for repairing the car. The vigilantes accused them of cow trade. When Waris and his associates -‑ Nafees and Shouqeen — tried to run away, the vigilantes put a vehicle in front of their car to stop them. The vigilantes then caught the trio and took them away. By that time, local police also reached the spot. However, the vigilantes took away Waris and his friends rather than handing them over to the police, Shamim claimed.
Shamim shared a video statement of Nafees with media to say that Waris was beaten up. In the video, Nafees can be seen saying that he was beaten up by Monu, who often conducts raids in Haryana in the name of cow protection.
However, the police said that Waris died after his car rammed into a tempo. Nuh SP Varun Singla said that the accident was captured in the CCTV footage.
“Gau rakshaks reached the spot and recorded a video of the accused before intimating the police. A police team arrived shortly after. The accused were handed over to the police and they took the trio to a CHC in Tauru, from where Waris and Nafees were referred to a government medical college in Nalhar. At Nalhar, Waris died of injuries sustained in the accident,” Singla was quoted by media as saying.
He further said: “The family of the deceased has alleged that he was beaten up by gau rakshaks of Bajrang Dal, but prima facie, since the body had no visible injuries, there is no evidence suggesting any physical assault. A complaint against Bajrang Dal has been recorded in the daily diary register. There was no delay in police reaching the spot or any negligence in the accused being handed over to the police from gau rakshaks.”
But, Shamim said that Waris’s car had rammed into a vehicle when the vigilantes had put it before their car. At that time, he did not get any serious injuries. Waris died after he was beaten up. He also showed some post-accident videos to prove that Wasim did not sustain any serious injuries in the mishap.
In a video, a man can be seen asking the three injured youths their names. In another video, a group of people wielding guns can be seen holding the three hostages. Monu Manesar is also present in the video and a still picture.
“We have seen the videos. One of them shows that though my brother is injured, he is sitting inside a police vehicle. It was around 5.20 a.m. on Saturday, just after the accident. Around 11.45 p.m., we were informed by the police that my brother had died. What happened in between? We are certain they were beaten by cow vigilantes,” said Imran, a brother of Waris.
Shamim said cow vigilantes have unleashed a reign of terror in the Mewat region by conducting raids in Muslim areas. He said he has been raising his voice against it. However, the police are tacitly supporting the cow vigilantes, he alleged.
The two associates of Waris have been booked under cow-related acts and arrested.
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