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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Cow vigilante attack Muslim nomad families in Samba: children, women among wounded

In yet another vigilante attack on Muslim nomads in the Jammu division, a gang reportedly assaulted two Bakarwal families, leaving several among them injured in the Samba district.

The attack reportedly by a self-styled cow vigilante Sunny on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday took place in Palak Manana village, news website Clarion India reported.

The report said that around midnight, two Bakarwal families, who were passing through the village with their cattle in a truck when the gang waylaid them and attacked them leaving women and children injured.

The Clarion India report said that Sunny has a history of carrying out such brutal attacks on the Muslim nomads, whose primary profession is raring cattle.

Shabbir Ahmad, the head of one of the nomad families told the website, “They were unable to defend themselves as they did not anticipate the attack. It seemed they had a proper plan to attack as they were carrying a rod and others a scythe and attacked everyone including women and children.”

Shabbir said his 6-year-old son Shahid was injured in the assault with a damaged eye. The attack lasted for three hours and the family members seek help from the nearby checkpoint Nadda Police post. “Police refused and watched the incident we pleaded before the police but they did nothing,” Shabbir said.

The gang after the attack took six goats and sheep as they drove away in vehicles.

The Gujjar families are facing such physical attacks since after the abrogation of Article 370. As per records, as of March 22, this year, a nomad and his family were allegedly attacked after he resisted any attempt to molest his young daughter, resulting in injuries to him in the Samba district.

On August 16, last year, as per reports in The Wire, ‘a group of cow vigilantes’ savagely beat up a man and his nephew in Reasi district of Jammu region after the former’s son drove away a cow which was grazing in their field.

Guftar Ahmad Chaudhary, a tribal youth leader based in the Rajouri district told the website, “This is not the first attack reported by the Gujjar families claiming of violence faced by the goons. Attacks on Gujjar-Bekarwals in Jammu just because of their faith reveals the evil intention of right-wingers to repeat the horror of 1947. This is a big conspiracy against the tribal Muslims.”

The website said a local police officer has promised action into the attack.

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