Two days after the alleged recovery of beef from a Muslim BJP leader’s house in Dewas district of Madhya Pradesh, right-wing activists Friday asked the administration to remove mutton and chicken shops in the town, saying their presence near temples and schools violated religious feelings.
All meat shops in the town are owned by Muslims, who have alleged that right-wing outfits have launched a campaign targeting them. They have added that this ‘campaign’ has picked up momentum after a Shourya Yatra taken out by Bajrang Dal and VHP activists on December 20 last year and the recent communal violence in Dewas.
Right-wing activists said that on Wednesday, they heard a cow mooing in pain inside Anwar Mev’s house and kept a vigil outside till police arrived. The police team and two right-wing activists seized meat and a skinned head that they claimed belonged to a cow.
The right-wing activists then kept the head and meat on a handcart and paraded it through the main street to the government veterinary hospital.
Anwar’s family has claimed that the recovered meat was that of a buffalo.
“It was their register, their kalam (pen) and their government. I don’t know what they wrote but it was not cow meat,’’ said his elder brother Munam Mev, who said he escaped arrest because he stays elsewhere.
Anwar was vice-president of BJP’s district minority cell, but was expelled after the incident.
Five years ago, his father Wahid and niece Farin died in an accident when they were returning from a function of the BJP’s minority cell in Bhopal. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had visited the family after Wahid’s death.
Shahar Qazi Maulana Irfan Patel said: “I gave a call for boycotting the family during my Friday namaz if the laboratory report confirms it is cow meat.” He, however, alleged that a campaign to target Muslims had been launched in the area.
Bajrang Dal’s Tonk Khurd convener Sunil Nagar and Gopal Chaudhary, one of the activists present during the raid, said they had been “watching” Anwar’s family for the past two years. They admitted that an earlier attempt “to catch Anwar red-handed failed because he managed to get rid of the meat”.
While most of Anwar’s family members are Congress supporters, he joined BJP.
Makhanlal Prajapati, a member of Gauraksha Samiti, said Anwar did so because he needed the clout of the ruling party to “cover illegal activities”.
Advocate Santosh Jat said the local bar association has asked its members not to represent any of the accused.