DELHI Police arrested four people on Thursday after a madrasa teacher and a van driver were assaulted by suspected gau rakshaks in outer Delhi’s Kanjhawala area while they were on their way to dump the discarded remains of animals sacrificed on the eve of Bakrid.
Both the victims were admitted to a government hospital, where their condition was said to be “critical but stable”, and later shifted to a private hospital in outer Delhi.
Police have registered a case under section 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) of the Indian Penal Code at the Kanjhawala station.
“Four people have been arrested in the matter. They belong to Rani Khera and Rasoolpur, both villages located near the attack spot,” said Vikramjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Outer Delhi.
Singh said police were verifying whether those arrested — Naveen, Raju and Devesh from Rani Khera, and Abhishek from Rasoolpur — belonged to any gau raksha group.
The incident happened on Wednesday night when Mohammad Khalid, a 25-year-old teacher at the Jamia Rehmania Tajuridul Quran in Aman Vihar, Abdus Salam, his 16-year-old student, and Ali Hassan, a 35-year-old tempo driver, were on their way to dump the waste, said local residents and a madrasa official.
The madrasa’s general secretary Qari Mohammad Lukman, who informed police about the attack, said that the unidentified assailants, travelling in two vehicles, intercepted the three at Mundka Road near Rani Khera before chasing and stopping them.
“The people in the car were carrying rods and sticks. They pulled the three out and started beating them,” he said.
Lukman said he was alerted by the student Salam who “somehow managed to run away from the spot because he was not wearing a skull cap and did not have a beard”.
Lukman said that he suspected the role of some people living near the madrasa who had earlier tried to disrupt its activities. “I have given their names to police,” he said.
The attack took place about 4 km from the madrasa in Block Z of Aman Vihar. The victims were initially taken to Sanjay Gandhi Hospital from where they were shifted to a private hospital.
Another resident of the locality, Mohammad Iqram, alleged that the attackers also tore the clothes of Khalid and the driver. “The attackers alleged that the remains of cows were being dumped. We had the required permissions from police for sacrificing the animals,” said Iqram.
According to police sources, the four arrested claimed that they wanted to stop the van after noticing a foul smell emanating from it.
“They claimed that when they tried to stop the van, the driver started speeding to evade them,” said sources.
“Till about two years ago, the remains of sacrificed animals used to be buried on government land near the madrasa. The practice was discontinued due to the foul smell,” said Lukman.
Twenty-five children from UP, Bihar and West Bengal study at the madrasa, he said.