Three men were beaten up by a mob in Bihar's Bhojpur district allegedly because they were found to be transporting beef, police said. The driver of a truck and two others were hurt in the incident. This is the first such incident of cow vigilantism reported in Bihar.
The mob also blocked Ara-Buxar stretch of the National Highway 84, disrupting vehicular traffic for more than three hours, alleging beef was being smuggled to neighbouring West Bengal, police said. The group also demanded action against the Shahpur station house office (SHO) for his alleged failure to check "beef smuggling.”
The three men, who were rescued by the police from the mob, were later taken into custody. "A truck was intercepted by locals on the suspicion that it was carrying beef [cow meat],” said a senior police official Daya Shankar. "We’ve seized the truck and arrested three persons in this regard.”
The mob, led by a group of self-styled cow vigilantes, also tried to set on fire the truck which was on its way to Muzaffarpur district. But the police said they foiled the attempt.
The incident occurred in Shahpur near Arrah town, 50 km from Patna, in the afternoon where the mob stopped the truck on suspicion that it was carrying beef.
The truck driver, however, claimed that they were carrying buffalo meat and not beef. "They will be interrogated about whether they were carrying beef or buffalo meat,” an unidentified police official told IANS.
The people who led the attack were said to be members of the Bajrang Dal. They also demanded action against local policemen who they said were shielding people smuggling beef.
Reacting to the thrashing of the three persons, the CPI(M) said it is "clear confirmation” of the BJP assuming power in the state. "It is a clear confirmation that BJP has assumed power in Bihar. Now only Hindutva policies will be implemented while he (Nitish Kumar) continues to remain the Chief Minister,” CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury told reporters in New Delhi.
Yechury said lynching and mob violence have "entered Bihar as soon as the BJP came to power there.”