Alwar attack: ‘They gave me 4-5 slaps, let me off and then went for the Muslims’

Arjun was among the six people in two pick-up trucks who were assaulted by gau rakshaks on for transporting cattle.

Written by Hamza Khan | Chomu (jaipur) | Updated: April 14, 2017 8:23 am
Alwar, Alwar lynching, Alwar violence, gau rakshaks, cow vigilantes, Alwar cow vigilantes, Pehlu Khan, Muslims, Alwar Muslims, India news, Indian Express, Alwar news Arjun’s uncle Girdhari Lal, brother Mukesh in Chomu Thursday. (Photo: Rohit Paras Jain)

Far from the turmoil he left behind in Alwar, Arjun Lal Yadav keeps his cellphone switched off while working with a road crew in Odisha’s Bhubaneswar, earning Rs 300 per day for laying white markings on the tarred surface. It’s been just a week in his new job, and the 22-year-old prefers to “just focus” on his work — and not what he ran away from. On April 1, Arjun was among the six people in two pick-up trucks who were assaulted by gau rakshaks on National Highway 8 in Behror for transporting cattle. One of them, Pehlu Khan, died in hospital two days later, triggering a wave of outrage across the country — and angry questions in Parliament.

READ: Alwar attack: ‘Was called to police station… my treatment was left incomplete’

“I was at the steering wheel, they gave me four-five slaps and let me off and then went for the Muslims,” Arjun told The Indian Express over phone Thursday evening. So far, 16 persons are in jail over the incident — 11 for alleged illegal transportation of bovines and five for assault — and police are hunting for the other accused in the lynching that also left four others injured.

Arjun says he was in one of the pick-up trucks, the one with the number plate RJ 14 GE 7209, which is seen in a video of the assault. But there is no mention of his name in the FIR of the incident, which states that Pehlu Khan was in a vehicle with a Haryana number plate with his sons Irshad and Aarif, while Azmat and Rafiq were in the other vehicle. “I have not heard about him,” says Alwar SP, Rahul Prakash.

But Arjun recalls those terrifying moments in detail.

READ: Alwar: Scared, Meo Muslims offer to surrender cows

“Azmat and Rafiq were with me. I didn’t know them and was merely transporting the cows they had purchased from the Saturday hatwada (fair) in Jaipur. We had municipal receipts and were at Behror when three men each on two-three motorcycles stopped us. They didn’t ask us if we had any permits but just looked at the cows we had,” he says.

Arjun, however, denies the version recounted by Azmat, one of the injured who is now undergoing treatment in Delhi — that the attackers “asked our names and let our driver Arjun go”; and, that they said ‘Let him go, he’s a Hindu’.

What he remembers is this. “I opened the door and ran away. It must have been after 6 pm. I kept running for five-six km till I reached a dhaba. I had left my mobile phone and wallet in the pick-up. I called my uncle Girdhari Lal from the dhaba around 8 pm and told him about what happened. He reached Behror around midnight,” says Arjun.

“While returning from Behror, my uncle stopped at Manoharpur, about an hour from our village (in Jaipur’s Chomu tehsil), and took me to a private hospital. I was okay but had pain in my ear so the doctor gave me ear drops. I had no other injuries,” he says.

Back home in Loharwada village, about 40 km from Jaipur, he says he went to sleep quietly, not telling his father Jagdish Prasad Yadav, mother Santosh Devi, brother Mukesh and two sisters about the incident.

“I am a poor farmer. I don’t know much about these things and his uncle takes care of his work. It was only in the morning that Arjun told us about how the men had stopped his vehicle and attacked them for carrying cows. We were worried,” says Jagdish.

With the pick-up owned by his family seized by police, Girdhari got him work through a contact. “My uncle asked me to work in Odisha,” says Arjun, who has studied till Class 12.

“It will take at least Rs 20,000 to repair the damage caused to the vehicle. He left on the evening of April 6 and might be there for some time,” says Girdhari, Arjun’s uncle.

According to police records, among those arrested so far for the assault are Vipin Yadav, 19; Ravindra Yadav, 30; Kalu Ram Yadav, 44; Dayanand Yadav, 45; and, Neeraj Yadav, 19. Police have also announced a reward of Rs 5,000 each for the other suspects, Bheem Rathi, a driver, and Vipin’s classmate Deepak Yadav.

Will the police contact Arjun at any point? “It is still a part of the investigation. We cannot say anything yet,” says Behror DSP Parmal Singh, who is investigating the case.

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  1. A
    Apr 14, 2017 at 1:19 pm
    This is the officer entrusted with the investigation who is not aware of the driver of the vehicle in which the cow was transported and not included his name in the FIR. From day one when the news was printed, the report said that cow vigilantes let go the driver becuase he is a hindu, STILL the investigating office not aware of it!!!!! Is this the standard of our police officers or the compulsion of the sangh parivar to protect their goons!!! Indian Hindu Talibans is the threat of a developed India, are we going the same path as the s?????
    1. M
      Apr 14, 2017 at 1:11 pm
      These anti-social elements like RSS, Gau Rakshaks, Anti-romeo are more dangerous to the existence and development of India than any other external or internal terrorists. Dividing the society into religious ghettos will only deepen the social divide and if not controlled may lead to further collapse of law and order, fratricidal riots, economic collapse and it may further bifurcate the country into smaller religious cantonments.
      1. M
        Apr 14, 2017 at 12:47 pm
        we are slowly but surely becoming a fanatical country, the young uneducated, unemplo youth of our country are getting brainwashed into believing they are doing humanity a great favor, this is what is to be expected when we vote for lunatics,uneducated thugs and known goons to rule our country. God save us.
        1. M
          MA Yusufzai
          Apr 14, 2017 at 3:08 pm
          Sadly majority of the hatemongers are well educated professionals. You can see it in many of the comments posted here.
        2. Paddy Singh
          Apr 14, 2017 at 12:23 pm
          One cannot help but realise that the country gets sicker by the day, mentally and physically. It is like a cancer that has set into the nations majority.
          1. H
            Apr 14, 2017 at 11:34 am
            Killing maimimg muslims is the humanitarian duty of every infidel.
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