Protestors demand probe after cow vigilantism claims a life in Udupi
Udupi: Red flags dotted the Clock Tower in Udupi as members of Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPI-M) staged a protest near Udupi Service Bus Stand on Friday evening in the wake of the gruesome murder of a BJP worker by gau-rakshaks (cow protectors).
Praveen Poojary, President of BJP Local Standing Committee from Kenjur, and his friend Akshay Devadiga, were allegedly thrashed by Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists for transportation of cows at Santhekatte on Thursday night. While Poojary succumbed to his wounds, Akshay was brutally injured and immediately rushed to a hospital in Brahmavar.
The incident comes just days after Narendra Modi condemned the actions of gau-rakshaks and urged state governments to crack down on anti-social elements operating under the guise of cow protection.
“Despite the word of caution from PM Modi, fake gau-rakshaks have been on the prowl in various parts of the nation. The death of a BJP worker by cow vigilantes is a sad irony in its own. The police and State government should take firm steps and provide justice to Poojary”- K. Shankar, State Committee member and Zilla Secretary (CPI-M)
Demonstrations were carried out peacefully. A few slogans were occasionally voiced shaming the culprits. The protesters emphasised on the undue significance given to an animal over human life by the Sangh Parivar workers. Under the pretence of saving cows, gau-rakshaks have been accused of targeting the Muslim minority, dalits and other backward classes. In 2005, the father-son duo of Hajabba and Hassanabba were stripped and paraded naked by right-wing activists for transporting a calf in Moodubettu, Udupi. Incidents of cow vigilantism had reduced considerably in the last few years but the latest incident has sent a jolt across the communally volatile district.
The BJP committee in the area has offered condolences but no action has been taken as of now. Protestors have demanded a compensation of Rs. 10 lakh for the victim’s family. In almost all previous cases of cow vigilantism, the accused has been set free due to lack of evidence. Hence, CPI-M has implored the authorities for a rational investigation of this sensitive issue. Senior leaders Balakrishna Shetty and Vishwanath Rai were also present for the protest.
With inputs from Aaditya Karnam
Edited by Prajwal Bhat