JAIPUR: The terrified family and village elders sat for the entire night outside the moratorium, refusing to accept Umar Mohammad’s body until the police filed a FIR (that has been done against ‘unknown persons’) and a postmortem established that he was killed by a bullet wound and not on the railway tracks, under a moving train.

The police version remains that Mohammad was found on the railway track and had come under a train. The effort was clearly to destroy the evidence, according to locals, but reports suggest that while the body was found with head and a limb severed, the bullet wound remained intact, testimony to the fact that Mohammad was shot dead in what is a first for cow mobs.

The police has now confirmed that five cows were killed in the incident, and one was recovered alive. And official sources have told the local media that Mohammad did die of a bullet wound, even though his body was placed on the railway tracks. Initial police statements sought to suggest that both were different incidents, a ruse that the cops seem to have realised has not worked.

One Tahir Mohammad, accompanying the dairy farmer managed to escape. He is in hospital reportedly with bullet injuries. HIs family is fearful for his life, with the Peoples Union for Civil Liberties in Rajasthan recognising this danger, and insisting that he be given protection, as well as compensation of Rs 10 lakhs.

The Citizen spoke to village elders who narrated the following facts: Umar Mohammad was a dairy farmer. He and Tahir (now in hospital) were transporting the cattle from their village in Mewat, Haryana to Bharatpur in Rajasthan when they were waylaid by a mob of cow vigilantes at Ghatmatika Pahadi, near Bharatpur, Rajasthan. They were beaten badly and Sher Mohammad, chairman of the Meo Panchayat in Alwar told The Citizen that the firing followed this.

There was firing, that is reported to have come from the police men of Ramgarh police station, Alwar. In fact the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Rajasthan has issued a statement condemning the “ ghastly murder of Umar Mohammed by the Ramgarh thana (Alwar) police and the so called Gau Rakshaks” Eyewitness accounts confirm the firing, although it is not yet clear whether the guns were fired by the cops, or by now

PUCL’s Kavita Srivastava does not hesitate to point out that the police was involved in this crime and did not play the role of a bystander as it has in the other lynchings. PUCL has demanded a FIR “against the so called Gaurakshaks and the Ramgarh police.” She said that the civil rights organisation had asked for compensation of Rs 25 lakhs and land to the surviving family, protection and compensation for Sahir, dismissal of the Ramgarh SHO, suspension of the SP, Alwar who did not even bother to locate the body for two full days, and a protection plan by the state Home Minister for the protection of the Meo community in Alwar and Bharatpur district who are at the receiving end of the brunt of the communal violence.

Tahir has reportedly named one Rakesh as a person he recognised in the mob, along with five others.No arrests of course have been made till now. Alwar SP Prakash Raj who has finally broken his silence is now reported by the local media as saying that “six” persons had assaulted and the two persons with him, including the driver of the vehicle. He said that it was murder, but insisted that there was no link to gaurakshaks as yet.

He claimed that “Tahir Mohammad” who survived the incident has criminal cases against him and investigations were on.

This is the first cow mob death where the victim has been killed by gunfire. Till now the mobs, armed with sticks and clubs, would beat the victims---like Pehlu Khan, Mohammad Akhlaq and countless others---to death. This is a clear departure with the victim being shot dead.

Villagers pleaded with The Citizen to highlight this news, and ensure the community was given protection. “So many people have been killed,” Sher Mohammad said, “please do something so that we are protected, we are saved.” He said the atmosphere of deep terror was all pervasive.

Civil rights organisation across Rajasthan demonstrated against the administration and issued an open letter to Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje who was campaiging in Alwar at the time. The letter stated:

On 12th of November, 2017, you were in Alwar campaigning for the bye elections when the ghastly murder of Umar Mohammed by the Ramgarh thana (Alwar) police and the so called Gau Rakshaks that had taken place on 10th Nov near Govindgarh, Alwar district, was brought to light.

Umar was a resident of Ghatmatika Pahadi, near Pahadi Kaman, Bharatpur, RAJASTHAN and a dairy farmer he was returning from Ramgarh with a few cows. His pickup vehicle was stopped by means of a patta, the tyre punctured and then attacked. Facts show that the police of Ramgarh was equally involved with the Gau Rakshaks in killing Umar. What is shocking is that the police and the Gau goondas tried to destroy evidence by throwing his body on the railway track. The present state of his body shows the brutality that the police and the so called Gaurakshaks can indulge in. But even the running over of a train/trains could not hide the exit wounds of the bullet. Tahir who is very serious and being treated in a hospital is an eye witness to the whole thing.

The murder of Umar is the complete failure of your Government in protecting Muslims in particular Dairy farmers from the killer Gaurakshaks. You may recall that in the past 4 such killings have happened in the past in 2 years. Please recall the following murders:

· 30 may 2015, Abdul Gaffar Querishi, Birloka, Didwana tehsil, Nagaur district

· 1st April Pehlu Khan, Behror thana, Alwar district

· 16th June, Zafar Khan, Pratapgarh town, Pratapgarh district

· 10th sept, Bhagtaram meena, neem ka thaana sikar district

Madam, are there any plans to call a halt to this bloody madness as now the Gau rakshaks have tasted blood and have the support of the police and administration (all pehlu khan killers were thrown out of the purview of investigation and todate zafar khans killers are roaming free). If you will not stop this now, these murders are going to be on the increase? It will be a major violation by your Government of Article 21, the right to life of the Muslims. You are supposed to protect the lives and not provide impunity to the killers.

The signatories to the letter included Kavita Srivastava (President, PUCL Rajasthan)

Anant bhatnagar (General Secretary, PUCL Rajasthan),

Nikhil Dey (MKSS)

Maulana Hanif (Vice President, PUCL),

Noor Mohammed Alwar district PUCL Secretary)

Sumitra Chopra and Kusum Saiwal, AIDWA

Nisha Sidhu, NFIW

Rashid Hussain, Welfare party, Rajasthan

Mohammed Iqbal, Jamait Islami Hind, Rajasthan

Basant Haryana, NAgirk Manch

Sawai Singh, Rajasthan Samgra Sewa Sangh

Bhanwar Meghwanshi, PUCL

Tara Chand, HRLN

Komal Srivastava, BGVS

Pappu Kumawat, PUCL

Mamta Jaitly, Vividha, Women’s Documentation and Research centre

Renuka Pamecha, WRG

Mukesh Goswami and Kamal Tak, RTI Manch
and others