Mangaluru: The recent alleged lynching of cattle trader, Husainabba in Udupi adds to the growing number of such deaths in the coastal region, where moral policing and cattle vigilantism are on the rise. The Karnataka Komu Sauhardha Vedike says there were 12 cases of cattle vigilantism in 2016 here and 22 last year. The cases include attacks not only on those transporting cattle illegally but also those who are doing it legally with all necessary documents, according to him.
Husainabba, who was allegedly transporting cattle in a Scorpio vehicle on May 30, died after he was waylaid and assaulted by Bajrang Dal activists near Hiriyadka in Udupi. The police in its UDR claimed he had a heart attack while trying to get away, but later arrested the Bajrang Dal activists and three policemen including an SI, for allegedly colluding with them based on a complaint filed by Husainabba's brother.
The first major incident of cattle vigilantism was about 13 years ago, on March 13, 2005, in Udupi where two Muslims were allegedly stripped and assaulted by a gang for transporting cattle. Now cattle traders and transporters are assaulted every year allegedly by saffron vigilante groups, which claim they only stop illegal transport and slaughter.
“It is really sad that we have failed to put an end to the menace of cattle vigilantism and communal incidents in the region. Those who suffer are the common man,” laments Mr Suresh Bhat, Dakshina Kannada president of the Komu Sauhardha Vedike.
But VHP Mangaluru division secretary, Sharan Pumpwell claims that neither the VHP nor any Sangh outfit believes in violence. “The main reason for such incidents is cattle theft and illegal cattle slaughter. When the government fails to stop it, people and organisations take over to protect their cattle," she says....