JAIPUR: One Kamal didi ( she signs as Kamal didi too) of the Rashtriya Mahila Gau Rakshak Sewa Mandal was trying to catch stray cows with the help of the nagar nigam(civic body) to take them to the Gau shalas(cow shelters).

At the same time Qasim a cleaner boy from Hayat Rabbani Hotel came to throw garbage in an empty plot near the dustbin on Kanti Chandra road. All the hoteliers and other private residents throw garbage there.

Some of the stray cows who were hanging out near the garbage, (the stray cow population of the city is always hovering near dustbins, as they are very hungry) immediately went for the freshly thrown bags, which had food waste along with some chicken / mutton bones.

Kamal Didi immediately started thrashing Qasim, accusing him of trying to pollute the cows with beef. She dragged him to the hotel with 15 of her followers.

Very soon more than a hundred people joined them, all wanting the owner of the hotelRabbani to come out. The police was called that beef was being cooked and served in this hotel.

The police and the media came together. The Gau Rakshaks are always with the media.

When they could not find Rabbani, the police picked up Wasim the receptionist and the cleaner and booked them under section 151 CrPC and arrested them. At the hotel they claimed to have found brochures of the Jamaat student wing, writings of Maulana Wahauddin, known for his secular preachings and the communal harmony campaign literature of the Jamaat e Islami. So the police reached the Jamaat office asking for Naeem Rabbani.

When they learnt that he was not there, they went to his house and as said by filmstar Ajeet's in his famous dialogue "uski ma, behen ko utha lao", they picked up his brother in law Abdul Rehman, who had nothing to do with the hotel. This is when people got in touch with me.

Komal and I rushed to the Sindhi camp police station, the police let the brother in law go. On our way out we learnt that they had also picked up two other employees of the hotel. After dropping Abdul Rehman safely at his relatives, we went back to the police station to meet the other two and get them out. But the police told us that they had been booked and arrested. They would be produced in front of a magistrate and restrained.

The protest over the hoax cry that beef was being cooked, resulted in police taking the meat samples and also the Jaipur Municipal corporation sealing the hotel. They got all the guests out and sealed it.

What is sad is that Hayat Rabbani has been getting awards regularly from the hoteliers association for good service among other things. Now the hotel is closed. Rabbani is being asked to show up in the morning and will also be restrained under sec 151, Cr PC.

The Muslim community leadership is in a state of shock as to how could the police could book Rabbani and pick up his staff over just an allegation of beef being cooked and served when it is all false. The electronic media of course has already stated that the meat seemed ‘suspicious.’

So even before Yogi Adityanath takes over as UP CM, the rest of their lot are so emboldened that they take no time in declaring a Muslim who runs a hotel as committing blasphemy.

Some were also sure that this was done by the next door hotelier who was threatened by their booming business. The ward councillor Nirmala Sharma was also there. Who was directing the JMC staff to seal the hotel.

While this was being done, the crowds were shouting Jai Sri Ra, and other slogans all through the over four hour drama.From 6pm to 10.30pm

Qasim and Wasim are spending the night in the police station, and hopefully should be released. Rabbani not knowing what has hit him, was just working hard and doing his business. He is now preparing to face the police.

This is not the first beef related case in Rajasthan. On May 30,2015 in village Birloka, Khimsar Tehsil, Nagaur District 60-year-old Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi was lynched by a mob for no fault of his. Simply because a rumour spread that Muslims had killed more than 200 cows for a feast and pictures of the carcasses started circulating on social media.

Young men in thousands gathered in the fields of Kumhari village where the carcasses were lying as the municipality contractor had rented the field to dispose of cattle carcass, as a routine municipal exercise. Hate speeches and protests took over and before one knew Abdul Ghaffar Quereshi who had nothing to do with the incident was beaten with iron rods and killed in the market place, despite some of his Hindu neighbours trying to help him.

The hate speech had provoked the neighbourhood to just kill the man as they wanted him out of the village.

The PUCL condemns this attack by the police and Kamal Didi who have maligned the name of Naeem Rabbani and appeals to the Police Commissioner Jaipur, Sanjay Agarwal to stop this attack on the hotelier and his business.

The DCP west and the local police need to be charge sheeted for acting against Rabbani under pressure of the Gau Rakshaks and the ward Councillor. Action should also be taken against the JMC who sealed the hotel for no reason under pressure from the ward.

(Kavita Srivastava is a well known activist with PUCL and based in Rajasthan).