Days after the All India Shia Personal Law board (AISPLB) vowed in Lucknow that a ban on cow slaughter is appropriate, a Shia Gau Raksha Dal has come into existence in Uttar Pradesh.
This Shia Gau Raksha Dal plans to work towards educating people on the issue that has become a major point of debate in the country and which has led to lynchings of at least two Muslims (Akhlaq and Pehlu Khan in the Dadri, UP and Alwar, Rajasthan respectively).
Lucknow: Group of Shia Muslims have formed a 'Shia Gau Raksha Dal' in UP, say will work towards educating people on the issue pic.twitter.com/QeNb0Nb0BS
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 7, 2017
It is important to state that Maulana Yasoob Abbas, AISPLB had also said that when asked for a fatwa, Ayatollah Sheikh Basheer Najafi (a prominent Shia cleric), who is in Iraq, the cleric said not to slaughter cows or eat beef which is in line with many vocal Shia Muslim clerics who have been asking the community to not eat beef out of respect for the Hindu community. The Shia Gau Raksha Dal seems to be a response to this line of thought by prominent Shia figures.
Let’s take a brief look at the cow debate:
After Akhlaq’s lynching many prominent journalists and opinion leaders spoke up on the issue and nearly everyone condemned it which is praiseworthy:
Citizens of India, we need a campaign like Je Suis Charlie. Hold your head high and say " I am a beef eater"
— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) October 4, 2015
However, rarely has anyone taken the same view when it comes to the dangers that cattle smugglers pose to the nation and also to the cattle activists.
Many Hindu youths have paid dearly after cow smugglers launched savage attacks against them. In 2013, Gurgaon was simmering after Vikrant Yadav, a member of the local Gae Bachao Samiti, was killed when he was chasing a tempo being used for transporting cows for slaughter. Another major case that had the Hindu community agitated was of the murder of cow activist Prashanth Poojari. The incident happened on October 9, 2015, when Prashant Poojary (29), a flower seller, was stabbed to death by six motorcycle-borne men. The only witness to the murder, Vaman Poojary committed suicide six days after the incident.
Cow smugglers riding on the sympathy wave are now an emboldened lot. Just a few days back, in Gurugram, a group of four people in a truck with smuggled cows fired into the air to escape police and cow activists.
Speaking to Times of India a cow activist, identified as Mohit, said that cops were present when the incident happened.
ASI Surjeet Singh of Sohna police station said, “We’ve recovered two live rounds from the truck.”
But worse was the security break that these cow smugglers undertook when four suspected cow smugglers entered the National Security Guard (NSG) camp at Manesar and fired several rounds at security personnel in the premises. The move by Shia Gau Raksha Dal, is, therefore, praiseworthy.
By Namta Gupta
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