Even as Adityanath took over as UP CM, saffron ‘cow protection’ vigilantes have felt emboldened enough to try to repeat Dadri in BJP-ruled Rajasthan, in the capital city Jaipur.
On 19 March, Kamal ‘Didi’, the national president of the ‘Rashtriya Mahila Gau Raksha Dal’, began beating up a teenage employee Qasim of Hotel Hayat Rabbani who was throwing garbage in a local dump. She claimed he was “feeding beef” to the stray cows that hang about the dump. The Gau Rakshaks attacked the hotel and collected a huge mob. The police was summoned and they took the manager of the hotel Wasim Ahmad as well as Qasim into custody, even though they agreed that the meat in the hotel looked like chicken legs not beef. They did nothing to disperse or detain the Gau Rakshaks who had indulged in violence and were trying to provoke mob violence. The police filed an unnamed FIR and then took Ahmad back to the hotel where the huge mob was waiting. They allowed “Kamal ‘Didi” and her supporters to beat up Ahmad in presence of the police. By then the owner of the hotel Naeem Rabbani had arrived and under the police pressure, evacuated the hotel. Thus Ahmad was also saved from a situation that was heading to be a repeat of the Dadri mob lynching.
Meanwhile Jaipur Mayor Ashok Lahoty shared a message on a BJP media cell WhatsApp group repeating the lie that the hotel was serving beef, though the police knew this to be prima facie false. His message said, “Hotel Hayat dwara gaumata ko beef khilane k dussahas karne par… hotel ko seize kiya gaya hai (Hotel Hayat has been seized for daring to feed beef to cows).” Thus Lahoty the Mayor was himself circulating a communal and provocative rumour.
The PUCL in Rajasthan had intervened in the incident, helping to avert a Dadri repeat, and providing legal representation and support to the Muslin men at the mercy of the mob and the Rajasthan police and administration.