At a time when the debate over incidents of cow vigilantism in Gujarat and other parts of the country is fresh, a 24-year-old man was allegedly stopped and questioned by some men in Mumbai who suspected that the leather bag he was carrying was made of cowhide.
The incident took place in suburban Andheri on Friday. As he shared his experience on social media and it went ‘viral’, Mumbai police Sunday said they have started an enquiry. “All such actions will be dealt with strictly as per the law,” Mumbai police’s spokesperson, DCP Ashok Dudhe said. “We have started an enquiry to identify those involved and will take up investigation immediately after getting an approval of the metropolitan magistrate,” he added.
According to the complainant Barun Kashyap, who works as a creative director, he was travelling to his workplace in an autorickshaw when the driver became curious about his identity. “He was quite curious and intrigued by my long hair and nose piercing right from the beginning and asked me about my native place. He stopped at a traffic signal and started looking at my leather bag,” Kashyap, a native of Assam, said in his Facebook post.
The autorickshaw driver then touched the bag and concluded that it was made of cowhide. Kashyap told him the bag was made of camel leather and he had bought it from Pushkar. “Not satisfied with the reply, the auto-driver moved forward and stopped the auto near a small temple on the way to my office. Before I could say anything, I saw the driver signalling at three men sitting in front of a temple, smoking,” he said.
“The three men then approached the auto and started conversing in Marathi, which I could not decipher. They asked me to step out of the auto which I refused. When I was busy protesting, one of the men came to the other side of auto and started checking my bag.”
“One of them asked my full name. He looked at the other two and said something in Marathi out of which I could only understand the word ‘Brahmin’. Maybe hearing Kashyap, they thought I am a Brahmin and left the spot,” he said in his post. Kashyap said he got off the vehicle at the next traffic signal and noted the autorickshaw number. He said on asking the driver his phone number, “he (driver) proudly gave to me saying ‘aaj toh bach gaye’ (you got away today).”
Kashyap said he approached D N Nagar Police Station on Saturday and filed a complaint. A senior official of D N Nagar Police Station had earlier said since no physical harm was done to the complainant they registered a non-cognisable case and further probe is on.
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