In Jamri village of Rajepur police station area in Chatra, Jharkhand, Hindus have accused some Muslims of killing cows and then throwing beef in a well. Violence erupted between the two sides over the matter. On 27 May, as soon as the police received information of the same, they reached the spot and controlled the situation. SP Rishabha Jha also reached the village and took stock of the situation. After that, on the same day, both sides went to different police stations and submitted the memorandum.
The FIR lodged by Hindus does not mention beef or cow slaughter, but the memorandum submitted by them (which has been accessed by OpIndia) states that Younus Mian had hidden ‘prohibited meat’.
Chatra police say that due to the rumor in the village, a situation of tension was created, which the police took over in time. The incident took place on Wednesday (May 27, 2020), when Vipin, a young man in Jamri, informed his companions that two cows had been killed by local Muslims. The religious sentiments of Hindus were hurt by the talk of cow slaughter and they protested there. He then learns that the beef has been thrown into the well.
What do Hindus say?
In this regard, we spoke to Deepak Kumar, who submitted a complaint on behalf of the Hindu side, who said that he was angry at the cow slaughter by Muslims. He said that cow slaughter was committed on the night of 26 May at Rajepur police station area in Chatra district. When we asked him how he came to know that Muslims had committed cow slaughter, he told that he was informed by Vipin Rajan. Vipin is currently in jail in this case. Vipin had seen and heard something, which made him think that cow slaughter had happened.
Vipin Rajak is a member of Bajrang Dal and his residence is where this incident happened. Deepak told that he first reported this to the administration, after which police also reached the next morning. The Hindus allege that the police cracked the case and went away. Police say that no beef was found there and it was just a rumor. Vikas Paswan, SHO of Rajepur, has called it a rumor.
While Deepak Kumar says that there were three other people with him, who thought it appropriate to go there and see if there was beef in the well. When they were looking into the well, about 200 Muslims (according to the memorandum submitted to the police) came with sticks and swords and started shouting. They say that they were all sitting at a distance of 100 meters from the well, when the mob attacked them.
Deepak further told that the four of them were in no mood for fight and quarrel and they had just gone to see but the Muslims started beating them. Deepak has stitches in his head. Vipin was beaten as well, who is currently in jail. Deepak told that those people were furious with Vipin and were talking about cutting him. In order to save him, Deepak was also hit with sticks on his head, he says.
After this Deepak, Vipin and his associates informed the Hindus of their village. In response to the attack by Muslims, they were pelted with stones. Deepak said that in the meantime the police reached there and both sides were chased away from there. The Hindu and Muslim sides filed separate cases. The Hindu side also admitted that the administration took action to reduce the immediate tension and imposed additional curfew in Jamri by deploying additional police forces.
Deepak said that even before this kind of incident has happened, when many of his friends were jailed by the police. They told that they were somehow rescued by raising money. They ask, how long will they continue to save their people by spending money in this way? At the same time, Deepak also accused the police of bias, saying that the inmates of the Muslim side in jail are getting facilities like phone etc. while Vipin is suffering.
Another villager Suman Saurabh told that the water of the well had turned red, after which Hindus lodged objections and protested. Hindus suspect that beef was indeed thrown in the well. He said about the incident that cow slaughter was done on account of Eid whereas in Jharkhand there is a provision of punishment on cow slaughter. He said that cows were killed in a dilapidated house. It was alleged that when he went to the police with his complaint, the police told him to bring evidence.
Suman further explained that the cow bone, etc., was covered up with straw. In order to bring out the truth, the Hindus tried to take it out of the well with a bucket, etc., after which the attack took place. Suman says that the Hindus were falsely accused of strangulation, molestation and robbing a woman’s chain. He said that nowadays there is a government of Hemant Soren in Jharkhand, whose stance is problematic in such matters.
Villagers have accused the police of suppressing the case. The Hindu side also spoke of the siege of Rajepra police station in Chatra as they say that out of the 97 accused named, only 1 has been arrested. Suman asked why the police is running from the truth? Why is the well not being searched?
What do Muslims say?
Local Muslims say that they neither hid beef nor committed cow slaughter. A local journalist told Opindia that the Muslims accused the Hindus of going there and hanging out. According to the FIR copy, the Muslim side alleges that the accused had gone there with the intention of looting and before they could do anything else, the police arrived on time and saved their lives. An accusation has also been made of looting a chain from the neck of a woman.
What does police say in Chatra cow slaughter case?
Station in-charge Vikas Paswan said that there has not been any allegation of beef in the well. If this happens, then the police will investigate it in the well. He called it a mere rumor. He told Opindia that the police had verified everything by going to the village and then taking action. So far, information on the presence of beef or cow slaughter has not been confirmed. SP Rishabh Jha says that due to the alertness of the police, a major incident was averted.
Police has informed that flag march was carried out with SAT, JAP and District Police personnel in the entire village so that peace can be restored. The SP has appealed that people should not pay attention to rumors and avoid rumors. At the same time, he has also warned of action against those who spread rumours. He said that in this case neither an innocent will be allowed to be trapped nor any guilty will be spared by the police.
SP Jha has said that if anyone has any information on the matter, then they should immediately provide it to the police, the police will take further action. Police have not found any animal or its meat yet, according to officials.