In Jharkhand, 15 policemen stave off 1,000-strong mob to rescue dairy farmer whose cow died

Giridih Deputy Commissioner, Uma Shankar Singh said: “The situation escalated suddenly. The initial presence of police, although outnumbered, helped us save lives. The injured is completely out of danger. We are probing the case from all angles.”

Written by Prashant Pandey | Deori (giridih) | Published:June 29, 2017 5:46 am
jharkhand man beaten up, jharkhand man attack, cow, dead cow, Giridih cow dead, Usman’s house was targeted by the mob. (Source: Express photo by Prashant Pandey)

A police team of just 15 managed to hold off a mob of around 1,000 people for around two hours before reinforcements from a CRPF camp nearby arrived to rescue a 60-year-old dairy farmer, who was attacked after the carcass of a cow was found outside his house at Barwabad village in Jharkhand’s Giridih district.

According to eyewitnesses and police, the mob also set fire to a portion of the house on Tuesday afternoon and wanted to throw the victim, Mohammad Usman, into the flames before police dragged him into their jeep and prevented attackers from pulling him out, twice.

“We were only 15 personnel. The crowd, which was there for the weekly bazaar, had swelled to a thousand. Our first aim was to take Usman in our custody. We managed that but were not able to take him out of the village. Then, we got information that his family members were holed up inside the house. We managed to enter the house through a staircase in the back and rescue them. By that time, Usman had been beaten up badly and was unconscious,” said Prabhat Ranjan Barwar, the sub-divisional police officer, who headed the team from Deori that reached the spot first.

Barwar’s version was corroborated by at least three eyewitnesses that The Indian Express spoke to at the village: Jawed Ansari, a watchman from Khasgodi village nearby; Nizamuddin, another watchman; and Manzoor Alam, pradhan of Barwabad village.

On Wednesday, these three were among a handful of men present in the village, which wore a deserted look — by evening, only a few shops had opened. Usman and his family were in Dhanbad, where he is under treatment at the BCCL central hospital.

“The bazaar was in full swing. I was getting a shave when I heard about a stampede-like situation. I rushed to the spot on my motorcycle because I needed to know what was happening before calling police. When I reached, I saw that Usman had already been cornered by the mob,” said Ansari, the watchman, who first alerted police.

“In this village, he is the only one rearing cows. He had eight cows and the family would supply milk in Barwabad and the neighbouring Mandro village. Usman was first asked by the mob whether the cow belonged to him, which he admitted. They took him to the exact spot where the carcass lay and made him swear that he did not kill it. Usman did that, too. We heard that some people wanted to throw him in the fire,” said Alam, the pradhan.

“The situation was highly intense. We somehow managed to stave them off. It was after the Deputy Commissioner arrived with additional forces that the mob could be dispersed,” said Barwar.

Giridih Deputy Commissioner, Uma Shankar Singh, who arrived with CRPF reinforcements, said: “The situation escalated suddenly. The initial presence of police, although outnumbered, helped us save lives. The injured is completely out of danger. We are probing the case from all angles.”

Speaking to The Indian Express at the Deori police station, Usman’s wife Amna Khatun said the cow had been ailing for a while and that she had called a local veterinarian to treat the animal before it died.

“The mob asked me the same questions they asked my husband. How could we deny that it was our cow? We told them that we did not slaughter her. But they were not ready to listen,” she said.

“The cow died on Saturday night. We could not get the body disposed of on Sunday because those who were to do this were busy handling another carcass in another village. Then, I told my son that the body would start rotting. On Sunday night, we dragged the carcass to an empty place. On Monday, I noticed some marks on the body and felt that it could be done by stray dogs,” she said.

“We were thinking about how to dispose it when the mob had reached our house and set on fire a small ration shop opened in the front portion by our son Saleem,” said Amna.

According to Ansari, the watchman, he along with police managed to enter the rear portion of the house using a staircase. “I opened the rear door that had been bolted from outside, and we rescued Amna, her sons Saleem and Alam, and Saleem’s wife,” he said.

Police said they were in the process of identifying the culprits and registering an FIR based on Amna’s complaint. A suspected member of the mob, Krishna Pandit, who sustained injuries as police fired in the air to disperse the mob, was out of danger, they said.

“It has come to light that the cow died of some illness. Whether somebody was involved in dismembering the body is being investigated. Around a dozen persons have been taken into custody and will be put under arrest after their involvement becomes clear,” said Singh, the Giridih DC.

Giridih SP Akhilesh B Verrior said, “This area has never been considered sensitive for such issues. A communal incident occurred some five years ago but we have not heard of any such case in Deori in the recent past. This will require a detailed probe. The carcass has been sent for post-mortem.”

ADG (Operations) and Jharkhand Police spokesperson R K Mullik said, “When officers at the headquarters got this news around 5 pm, we were conducting our daily crime meeting with the DGP. We immediately got in touch with the Ministry of Home Affairs to get permission for moving CRPF personnel based in Chatro, which is closer to the spot, to the troubled village.”

Under rules, the CRPF cannot engage in local law-and-order duty, unless express permission is taken — in this case, permission was given, with the DC accompanying around 100 Rapid Action Force personnel to the spot.

“It was a combination of immediate support from the top and ground officials taking pro-active action that turned the situation in our favour. Till then, our men had fought bravely but were hugely outnumbered,” said SP Verrior.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. T
    Timir
    Jun 30, 2017 at 10:41 am
    What an India presented by Modi Yogi. I am 60 years old , cannot remember this type of scenario in India ever.
    Reply
    1. P
      Prashant
      Jun 29, 2017 at 10:38 pm
      Why can't the report say, 'The Police under BJP government restored peace and saved life of Usman'? Negative reporting at its best. I wish the author writes with the same kind of enthusiasm when the victim is Hindu while the offender is a muslim.
      Reply
      1. N
        Naveed alam
        Jun 30, 2017 at 1:03 am
        You are right brother.
        Reply
        1. B
          Bharath
          Jul 1, 2017 at 7:24 pm
          What the is wrong with you.. A mob almost burned a man alive,vandalised his house,burnt his sons shop,all this for a cow..and your problem is that the le is not more pro-bjp..
          Reply
          1. B
            Bharath
            Jul 1, 2017 at 7:25 pm
            le
        2. A
          Ajay Trivedi
          Jun 29, 2017 at 9:20 pm
          Its same for this Country ,they are killing Human Being in the name of Cow . have they ever kept any Cow and Buffalo with them for fetching milk. its very difficult man, making Hooliganigm and Goondaism is very easy. in the name cow without concrete evidence kill an Human Being , a Muslim ,. Nowhere in Hindu religion it has been expressed. And such type of Murderers must be dealt with Hardest and Deterrent most Punishment , first Physically and then judicially , to avoid the recurrence. And to make Muslim Brothers feel save in this county India. i think Mr. Prime Minister must instruct for Strictest of Strict in such cases.
          Reply
          1. J
            Jana
            Jun 29, 2017 at 7:19 pm
            Yet another shameless award wapsi drama unfolding...i think the media in India should come under NSA... What is your agenda now...meira kumar... the more you keep doing this, the more Hindus are going to unite... thanks for that in advance
            Reply
            1. U
              Uzair
              Jun 29, 2017 at 4:04 pm
              Thanks police for saving innocent life. Attempt to er sould be chareged againsed mob.
              Reply
              1. G
                Gopal Das
                Jun 29, 2017 at 3:59 pm
                Arrest all those goons, slap attempt to murder case against them with non bailable section.
                Reply
                1. S
                  saurabh bhadauria
                  Jun 29, 2017 at 3:12 pm
                  Story does not sound credible How come did 15 policemen save the life of handful of peacefuls? Indian express is runing anti hindu agenda by publishing contrived and bogus news.
                  Reply
                  1. N
                    Naveed alam
                    Jun 30, 2017 at 1:15 am
                    If in Muslim states pork is not allowed then in a democratic state like India where majority brothers worship cow ,beef should also be banned. It will only make peace and brotherhood between two communities.See the Muslims living in Baluchistan,Nwfp how they get tortured and mass killings by Pak drones.Isi always plot to divide and rule policy between Hindu and Muslim,while they kill innocent Muslim in Bangladesh, Baluchistan,etc then no media complains.If in India some huliggan creates mishaps modiji to be blamed.vow!and so called media supports for trp.that's the fortune of our's.
                    Reply
                    1. R
                      Rina Mukherji
                      Jun 30, 2017 at 7:51 am
                      Some are into creating mischief in the name of cows and beef. It is just a ploy to kill innocents. Btw, do we realize the damage to the economy when meat eating is attacked. These fools who propagate vegetarianism and vegan (another idiocy which will affect nutritional health) do not realize that we dont have enough vegetable s and fruit to go around if meat, fish and eggs are shunned. The BJP had been elected in the name of growth. They have only damage d our economy.
                  2. s
                    stud.
                    Jun 29, 2017 at 2:39 pm
                    Well DOne Jharkhand Police.We are proud of you bravehearts
                    Reply
                    1. Load More Comments