A caretaker at a farmhouse in Dwarka was beaten to death while five-six others sustained injuries after a group of 10-15 persons allegedly attacked them on suspicion of slaughtering cows, police said Tuesday. This, even as police were on their way to the farmhouse.
The victim, Rajaram (40), worked at the farmhouse and also sold milk to villagers nearby. His family denied allegations of cow slaughter and said he was targeted “by locals” for no reason.
Police said they received information about the incident around 2 am Monday.
“We had information about a group of men suspected to be involved in killing cows and selling beef from a farmhouse in Chhawla area. Our staff was going to the house when a PCR call came from the same spot about violence. When we reached the spot, we found the men were being attacked. The staff intervened and all injured persons were taken to nearby hospitals, ”said an officer.
Police have registered two FIRs in the matter – one based on a complaint by one of the injured men, and the other on the complaint of locals. Police said they have arrested five men for alleged cow slaughter so far, while no arrest has been made in the murder and assault case.
According to the FIRs filed based on a complaint by Md Shanu, one of the injured men, he and some others were called by Rajaram on Monday night. Shanu had worked for Rajaram before and was paid around Rs 500-1,000.
They were inside when a group of men, who identified themselves as “gau rakshaks”, broke into the house, the FIR states. The complainant further alleged that the men questioned them and beat them up. The police came later, stopped the fight and took the injured men to the hospital, where Rajaram died during treatment.
“The team collected a few samples from the spot and sent it for examination. Meanwhile, the staff arrested five local men who were allegedly involved in cow slaughter, ”said a senior police officer who refused to be named.
Shankar Chaudhary, DCP (Dwarka), said, “An incident of cow slaughtering was reported and the team arrested five persons involved in the matter. Later, one of the accused, Shanu, alleged they were thrashed by miscreants. Rajaram, who was a suspect in the cow slaughtering case, was taken to a hospital but felt unwell. He was rushed to RTRM hospital where he died. We are investigating the matter and will arrest the miscreants. “
Until Tuesday, the victim’s family was in the dark about the alleged lynching. Jhaso Devi, Rajaram’s wife, sat with her four children at the farmhouse. The family moved to Chhawla two years ago and started working under a Punjab-based doctor at the farmhouse.
Jhaso said she was sleeping with her children on Monday night when her husband received a call and went out.
“That was the last time I saw him. We don’t know what happened. A group of men picked him up and beat him to death. These men are spreading false rumors about my husband. We have eight cows and hens… we sell milk to half of the villagers. Why would we kill cows? ” said Jhaso.
Arun Kumar Dubey, a local farmer, said he heard a fight going on at Rajaram’s farm and went to check, but saw police and rushed back to his place. “Everyone is saying he killed cows. But we have seen him for two years. He used to sell milk. “
Rajaram’s family said they were dependent on the cows and the farmhouse. “I have two young daughters and a son who don’t work. My husband was earning Rs 3,000-4,000 for managing the farmhouse. We sold milk to make some extra money. My elder son, Mohit (18), also works at a gaushala. We are scared. What if we lose this house and all our jobs because of the police case? ”
Rajaram’s body has been kept at RTRM hospital. Doctors said an autopsy will be conducted once a medical board is constituted.