On August 3, three Muslim men were attacked by a mob that falsely accused them of carrying beef in a truck in Bihar’s Bhojpur district. The meat was actually buffalo meat, and in any case, Bihar’s cow slaughter laws allow the slaughter of cows over the age of 15 – i.e past milk-producing age.
The Ranisagar and Bagahi areas of Shahpur in Bhojpur are areas where Muslims have had licences for meat business since British colonial days. On August 1, days before the first ‘beef’ lynching attempt in Bihar, animal husbandry minister Pashupati Kumar Paras (brother of Ramvilas Paswan) announced that his Government would work for a total ban on cow slaughter and would not allow any new slaughter houses. This message was received – as intended – by the cow goons as a license to lynch. Bhuwar Ojha, BJP state executive committee member told Indian Express about the Shahpur lynch mob: “Now that the BJP is part of the state government, our morale has been boosted.”
On August 17, a VHP mob attacked six families in Bihar’s West Champaran accusing them of having eaten beef. The mob armed with sticks chanted “Bharat Mata ki jai”. Note: consumption of beef is not illegal in Bihar.
In both these instances it is the victims who have been booked by the police. And Nitish Kumar, who after the Dadri lynching had challenged PM Modi to speak directly to condemn the lynching, is conspicuously silent now that the lynchings are happening on his turf and on his watch with the approval of his allies. He had also referred to the claims that the mob violence is ‘cow protection’ as ‘bakwas’ (rubbish). But how he is silent on the violence.
The CPI(ML) responded promptly to the incidents. A team led by CCM Comrade Rameshwar Prasad, Tarari MLA Sudama Prasad, State Committee member Raju Yadav, AISA leader Shivprakash Ranjan and others immediately visited Shahpur following the first incident. The CPI(ML) also demanded the dismissal of the Chanpatiya SHO of Champaran who instead of protecting the Muslim victims of violence and booking the mobsters, instead acted as an arm of the mobsters and booked the victims.
The CPI (ML) organized State-wide protests in Bihar on 4 August 2017 against the incident of rumour-mongering and inciting frenzy in the name of beef at Ranisagar in Shahpur (Bhojpur) and the terror inflicted in Sasaram by the team monitoring open defecation. Protests were organized in Patna, Ara, Jehanabad, Arwal, Darbhanga, Siwan, Muzaffarpur and other places.