POLICE on Monday arrested nine persons, including two alleged beef traders, from Malegaon in Washim district after three alleged beef traders from Malegaon were assaulted by seven people on May 26. Seven of the arrested assailants belong to the Bajrang Dal, Police Sub-Inspector Yogesh Dhotre, the investigating officer in the case, told The Indian Express.
A note issued by Washim Superintendent of Police Mokshada Patil said, “Seven men from Malegaon beat up three Muslims and allegedly confiscated ‘beef’ from them at Rajora village, 12 km from Malegaon, on May 26. The seven men themselves brought the three Muslims to Malegaon police station. We have arrested nine persons, including the seven assailants and two alleged beef traders, in the matter.”
The SP said, “The seven persons had not only taken law into their hands, but also made videos of the incident and made them viral, which amounts to inciting feelings of religious hatred.” Police said the two alleged beef traders who have been held are Sheikh Bismillah Sheikh Mobin and Sheikh Siddique Sheikh Musa. The assailants have been identified as Akshay Garje, Nagesh Bali, Vikki Ahir, Vinod Ahir, Ganesh Dandge, Akshay Gaikwad and Gopal Ingle. All have been released on bail.
Asked if the traders were really dealing in beef, Patil said, “We have collected the samples and have sent them to government forensic laboratory in Nagpur for tests.”