Tension grips in different parts of Uttar Pradesh due to burgeoning smuggling of cows. The killing of a senior VHP leader engaged in cow protection in Agra on February 25 shows how serious turn the problem has taken
Cow smugglers have killed my son. He was always ready for serving and protecting the cows. This love to the cows made the cow smugglers his enemy and they have killed him, says Ramesh Chandra, the father of Arun Mahaur (45), who was killed in Agra on February 25. Arun Mahaur was vice president of VHP’s Agra unit. Hailing from a Congress family (his father Ramesh Chand is still an office-bearer of the city Congress Committee; his grand-father Ganeshi Lal was associated for a long time with Congress and Sarvodaya movement), he came in contact with the VHP about 15 years ago and despite his father’s disapproval, became an active worker of the organisation. He was extremely bold and indomitable as far as stopping of killing of the cows and preventing harassment of Hindu girls are concerned. He was also looked upon as a sheet anchor for the Hindus, almost all belonging to two Scheduled Castes- Mahaur and Valmiki-living in the area encouraging them not to migrate under pressure of burgeoning Muslim population.
Reign in the jihadis: VHP
Agra: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has reacted strongly over the killing of its vice president and a dedicated worker Arun Mahaur in Agra on February 25. VHP joint secretary general Dr Surendra Jain, while speaking at the condolence meeting organised in Agra on February 28 demanded the Uttar Pradesh government to reign in the jihadis and arrest the culprits forthwith. “The Uttar Pradesh government is acting like a puppet in the hands of cow smugglers and it takes no step to save the cow protectors.” He questioned the selective secularism of those who cried from their roof tops over Akhlaq last year and said when a person is killed in Dadri all ‘secularists’ went there none visited the family of Arun Mahaur who was killed by the ‘secular mafias’. Dr Jain said hundreds of cases of cow smuggling are registered in different police stations of Agra but the police take no action due to obvious reasons.
Arun Mahaur, along with a group of courageous Bajrang Dal activists, had become a sharp thorn in the eyes of cow smugglers and killers of downtown Agra. It was mainly through their efforts that almost 250 cases under the Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act had been registered in various police stations of Agra. Chaudhary Babu Lal, BJP MP, says that Mantola Police Station has 39 such cases, Shahganj 37, Loha Mandi 36, Jagdishpura 38, Sadar 13, Taj Ganj 24, Sikandara 11, Hari Parvat 8 and Naai ki Mandi 38 totalling 244. But the police scarcely take any action on the cases. That’s why cow slaughter continues to increase.
According to sources, a legislator of the then rulling BSP was found involved in the work of boiling of bovine and buffalo fats about five years ago. But the matter was not properly pursued by the police. In the month of January this year, a large amount of beef, weighing about 300 quintals, was found in Naai ki Mandi. But the culprits were let off by the police reportedly under pressure of a city Samajwadi Party leader.
People say that Arun Mahaur and his brave friends from VHP/Bajrang Dal were instrumental in the attempt to bring to light such incidents, although the police in every case remained almost inactive. Now following pressuer from the public the Police have arrested four accused.
Sunil Parashar, a Bajrang Dal worker, has complained to the police that he, Sanjay Malhotra and Banti Thakur, are now the targets of cow-killers. According to the Bajrangis, 'supari' (contract to murder) has been given to some sharp shooters of Gwalior. But the irony is that not only the police don’t offer them protection, but they have also been denied arms licences necessary for self-defence.
Arun Mahaur, stories about whose courage and fearlessness now abound in the streets of Agra, had a furniture shop in Mantola, a Muslim-dominated area. His anti-cow slaughter activities always endangered him. But he carried on with undaunted spirits. About three years ago, his shop was set aflame allegedly at the behest of meat mafias. But Arun could not be cowed down. He did not shift his business, and revived the same.
Mahaur was the eldest of three brothers. And his entire family depended upon his earnings. His elderly parents, his wife Rajni, his two adolescent sons Rohit and Kunal, and one of his younger brothers Pramod lived along with him. Another brother Vinod was at Delhi. The murder of Arun has orphaned the entire family financially.
The Uttar Pradesh government has announced Rs 15 lakh as compensation to the bereaved family. This has infuriated the Hindus of Agra. The provincial organising secretary of VHP, Shri Raghavendra, says that in the case of Akhlaq, the man who was killed at Dadri last year, his family was offered 45 lakh in cash, as many as four flats and two government jobs to his sons although one of his sons was already in Indian Air Force.
Now when a Hindu’s family has been shattered due to his cold-blooded and pre-announced assassination, the same government is dragging its feet over declaring similar compensation, even overlooking the fact that no one in the family is now the bread-earner there. Such flagrant discrimination is bound to lead to inter-communal tension, he says. Meanwhile, VHP working president Dr Pravin Togadia demanded the murder case of Arun should be assigned to a fast-track court. He also demanded that a central act banning cow-slaughter must be passed by the Union government.