In Telangana’s Medak, BJP’s growing clout emboldens ‘Gau Rakshaks’ (The News Minute)

While the Muslim residents maintain that the latest communal conflagration was unexpected, the tall Chatrapathi Shivaji statue in Medak town stands as evidence of growing clout of Hindutva forces.

By Balakrishna Ganeshan

Eid celebrations at Minhaj-ul-Uloom Madrasa in Indira Colony in Medak town of Telangana, on Monday, June 17, were marred by violence and arrests. Muslim elders were seen walking inside the police-guarded Madrasa to discuss the possibility of whether they could celebrate the festival at all. The police had seized the cattle which were meant to be slaughtered for Eid. 

Barkhat Ahmed, headmaster of the Madrasa, when TNM met him, was unsure whether the police would return the animals in time for the festival. “Around 700 people are dependent on it,” he said. It happened as he feared. The violence had spoiled chances of celebrating the festival in peace and the police are yet to return the seized cattle, despite no evidence of cows being bought for slaughter.

This was not the first time Medak witnessed raids by self-styled Gau Rakshaks.  “While there is no RSS office here, several organisations like Bajrang Dal, Vishva Hindu Parishad are active here. Every year we carry out such raids to see that cows are not slaughtered illegally,” said BJP’s former district general secretary Nallala Vijay. 

Muslims have denied they brought cows. “All the animals were bulls and had valid documents that they were fit to be sacrificed,” says Nayab, a resident.

On Saturday, members of Gaurakshak Samithi – an organisation affiliated to the RSS, and the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha created tension when they tried to ‘verify’ the presence of cows that were meant for slaughter on Eid. “At around 10 am when the cattle were grazing near the lake, nearly 15 RSS activists assembled and started taking photos and videos of the cattle. They informed the police too,” recalls Barkhat Ahmed, the head master of Minhaj- ul-Uloom Madrasa.

This story was originally published in Read the full story here.

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