The police arrested two Muslim men employed at a Jaipur hotel on March 19 after receiving a complaint from a cow protection group that the hotel was disposing off beef in the garbage. Police said the dumped meat will be sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) for further examination, but claimed that prima facie the meat looks like chicken.
Hotel owner Naeem Rabbani has been missing after cow-protection groups protested outside the hotel on Sunday. According to the police, the arrests were made based on a complaint received from Sadhvi Kamal Didi, a member of the Rashtriya Mahila Gaurakshak Sewa Mandal, on Sunday evening. The member claimed that the non-vegetarian leftovers being disposed off by the hotel could be beef.
The Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act, 1995 prohibits slaughter of all bovine animals. The possession, sale, or transport of beef and beef products is also punishable under this law. However, the law has not yet been invoked in the present case.
“You cannot throw leftovers of non-vegetarian food in the open according to rules. So on that basis we have arrested a manager and the person who had thrown the leftovers under preventive sections,” Ashok Kumar Gupta, DCP West, Jaipur told YKA. The employees have been arrested under section 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) that allows police to take a 24-hour-custody without any warrants or orders from a Magistrate.
“They (the complainants) had also alleged that the leftovers could be beef. So we will also get the meat investigated by the FSL,” Gupta added.
“There was around 800-900 gm of meat leftovers. There is an activist of a cow-protection group. She alleged that this could be beef. Sadhvi Kamal Didi demonstrated there. So we said we will investigate the matter according to law and send the meat to FSL. However, prima facie it clearly looks like meat from chicken,” police sources told YKA.
Those arrested are a 40-year-old receptionist Wasim Ahmed and 20-year-old Mohammad Qasim. “The two people who were creating a nuisance have been arrested under Section 151,” police told YKA. Qasim is alleged to have thrown the leftovers. “We know the name of the hotel-owner Naeem. But we haven’t been able to find him,” police told YKA.
The two men arrested will be produced before a magistrate on March 20. An FIR under Section 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) has also been filed at the Sindhi Camp police station on the basis of the complaint, police told YKA. The Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC) has also sealed the hotel.
A similar case of vigilantism gripped the country in 2015 when a mob in UP’s Dadri beat 50-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq to death amid rumours that his family possessed beef.
Condemning the arrest, Kavita Srivastava, a member of the Rajasthan chapter of People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) said in a statement,“This is not the first beef related case in Rajasthan. On May 30, 2015 in village Birloka, Khimsar Tehsil, Nagaur District 60-year-old Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi was lynched by a mob for no fault of his. Simply because a rumour spread that Muslims had killed more than 200 cows for a feast and pictures of the carcasses started circulating on social media (sic).”
The statement also demands action against the police. “The DCP west and the local police need to be charge sheeted for acting against Rabbani under pressure of the Gau Rakshaks and the ward Councillor. Action should also be taken against the JMC who sealed the hotel for no reason under pressure from the ward (sic),” the statement reads.