JAIPUR: The Rajasthan police has arrested the two men, one of them injured with a bullet wound, who were accompanying Umar Mohammad when he was shot dead near Alwar by gaurakshaks.

The police called Tahir Mohammad who was in hospital with a bullet wound, and 'Javed who had escaped, to the police station. They were detained and then arrested on the basis of a FIR number 273/2017 on a false case of cow smuggling. Both are in police lock up.

Umar Mohammad and the two men were returning to their village after purchasing cattle from Rajasthan on November 11. They were accosted by a group of seven men who then opened fire. Mohammad died on the spot, while Javed escaped. Tahir was hit as well, but managed to escape. The two are the only eyewitnesses to the incident, and have been slapped with cases with the police moving with considerable speed to arrest them.

Two gau rakshaks --Ramveer Gurjar and Bhagwan Singh--were arrested and according to media reports quoting the police have confessed to the killing and mutilating Mohammad’s body by placing it on the railway track. There is no sign, however, of the others with them and no further arrests have been made.

Instead counter charges were filed against the victims who have now been picked up. The People's Union for Civil Liberties has condemned this maintaining that instead of arresting the “killers” the Alwar district police has arrested the victims in a clear travesty of justice. Kavita Srivastava, head of Rajasthan PUCL, told The Citizen that ,”basically the police just wants to build pressure on these two as they are the key witnesses in the Umar killing case and perhaps bargain a deal, frighten the two and dilute the case Clearly showing that the Government has given absolute impunity to the killers and they will strike again and again.”

PUCL has demanded that the FIR be closed against the victims. And in a statement added, “the Police has a lot to answer in this case. The firing on the pick up vehicle with Umar and others, moving the body of umar from one area to another 15kms away, brutalising it, dismembering the head, throwing the body on the railway line, stealing the wheels of the pickup carrying the cows etc.

By trying to foreground the smuggling case, it is putting the burden of crime and criminality on the victims. The police today said that Tahir and Javed Jabaa have confessed to the crime of smuggling, well in the Gurgaon Ryan school case too the Haryana police had said that the driver had confessed yet the criminal was another person.”

Meo community representative Sher Mohammad told The Citizen that Umar Mohammad and the other two men were not cattle smugglers. He said that even with this charge the killing was not justified, as who has allowed these gaurakshaks to take law into their own hands.

PUCL has demanded, release of the victims, arrest of all killers, suspension of SP and other cops on duty at the Govindgarh police station for “providing impunity to the gau rakshaks and manipulating evidence”, a compensation and protection for the family and the victims.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vijay Raje Scindia has not said a word on the incident. The state home minister said it was impossible for the government to keep a check on everything. Congress leaders Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot condemned the killing. Pilot tweeted, “Extremely worrying that Lynching&mob violence are becoming the norm in Rajasthan.Saddened to see willful neglect and meek response of the govt.” Gehlot demanded investigation.