Rakbar Khan, the man who was beaten to death on Friday on suspicion of being a cow smuggler in Rajasthan, was the sole breadwinner of his family. Hailing from Haryana’s Mewat district, Khan had gone to Lalavandi village (in Rajasthan’s Alwar district) with his friend Aslam to buy two cows to expand his milk supply business, his family said.
Aslam Khan, who returned to Kolgaon village in Haryana’s Mewat district on Saturday morning, said he hid in the fields taking advantage of the dark while a crowd attacked Rakbar.
“We left our village around 5pm on Friday and reached Lalavandi village at night. We had gone on Rakbar’s motorcycle. He had asked me to accompany him to Rajasthan as he wanted to buy two cows. They had two calves also,” Khan said.
Khan said they had bought the cows for Rs 60,000 from one of the villagers there and Rakbar was walking the cows while he was riding the motorcycle alongside when they heard the gunshots.
“Some started shouting that we were trying to steal cows. They rushed towards us. I got scared and ran towards the field. Rakbar was holding the cows then,” Khan said. He said he cannot recognise any of the attackers because of the darkness, but can recognise their voices as they were “abusing us very loudly”.
“I remained hidden in the field until Saturday morning. Then I came out and took a lift to reach my village. I had a narrow escape,” he said. He reached Kolgaon around 5am. It’s the last village in Mewat before Rajasthan.
Rakbar’s family members said he wanted to start his own dairy in the village with 10 more cows. He had taken a loan from his in-laws and friends to buy two cows on Friday.
Read | My son is not a cow smuggler, says father of Alwar lynching victim
His body was brought to the village by the Mewat police after the post-mortem on Saturday..
He lived in the village with his wife, seven children and parents.
Villagers said his wife, Asmina Khan, 30, lost consciousness on hearing about the attack. Later, Asmina said the family owned three cows and did its best to care for them. They supplied milk to the dairy owners in the area. “How can I lead a life without my husband? I have four son and three daughters,” she said.
She said she was planning to cook biryani for him on Saturday because it was his favourite food but before she would even start preparations, news of his death reached her.
Rakbar Khan’s brother Akbar, who teaches in a village mosque and lives separately, demanded compensation for Asmina. “The government should provide a job to my sister-in-law on compensatory grounds and should provide financial assistance to the family,” he added.
The family members denied allegations that Rakbar Khan was smuggling cattle. They said he had borrowed Rs 50,000 from his mother-in-law and the rest from friends. “We keep these cows and make some money from their milk. We already have three. Why will Rakbar steal anyone’s cow,” Asmina said. “Had he indulged in illegal transport of cattle, he could have built a nice house and we would not be living in this small shabby house.”
Meanwhile, the victim’s father Sulaiman Mev rejected claims that his son was a cow smuggler. “He left home on Friday morning saying he was going to take goats for grazing. This morning, I was told that he has been killed,” the father said.
“My son is not a ‘gau taskar’ (cow smuggler). I don’t believe in what the people and police are saying. We are a poor family and my son used to work as a labourer in a stone mine,” said Sulaiman, father of seven children. He demanded strict action against all the accused.
Sher Mohammad, sarpanch of Mev Panchayat in Alwar, said that when Union ministers felicitate lynching accused, then vigilantes get encouraged to kill innocents, referring to minister Jayant Sinha’s act in Jharkhand.
‘Every shining sun has to set’: Shiv Sena on Amit Shah replacing Advani
Mumbai: The Shiv Sena Saturday said L K Advani would remain the “tallest leader” of the BJP irrespective of his poll presence, two days after the party nominated its chief Amit Shah from Gandhinagar, a seat represented by the BJP patriarch.
In an editorial in the party mouthpiece “Saamana”, the Sena said Shah contesting in place of Advani is politically translated as the ‘Bhishmacharya’ of Indian politics being “forced” to retire.
“Lal Krishna Advani is known as the ‘Bhishmacharya’ of Indian politics, but his name does not feature in the list of BJP’s candidates for Lok Sabha polls, which is not surprising,” the edit said.
The Sena said the development underlined that the BJP’s Advani era has come to an end. “Advani has been elected from Gujarat’s Gandhinagar constituency six times.
Now, Amit Shah will be contesting from that seat.
This simply means Advani has been forced to retire,” the editorial said. Marking a generational shift in the BJP, the party recently announced candidature of Shah, who will be contesting his debut parliamentary election, from Gandhinagar. Advani, 91, had served as Union home minister and deputy prime minister.
He won the Gandhinagar seat six times.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the BJP to a massive victory in 2014 and Shah was made the party president, Advani was made a member of Margdarshak Mandal (group of mentors).
The Sena said, “Advani was one of the founding members of the BJP, who along with former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee steered the rath of the party ahead.
“But today, Modi and Shah have taken the place of them (Vajpayee and Advani). An environment has already been created in the party to ensure that seniors do not get any responsibility this time,” it stated.
The Sena further said Advani has played a “long innings” in politics and would remain the “tallest leader” of the BJP. The Sena is contesting the next month’s Lok Sabha elections in alliance with the BJP.
The Sena said it didn’t believe that a leader retains his top position only if he continues to be in active politics.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party also attacked the Congress which has said the Gandhinagar seat has been snatched from Advani. “The party (Congress) should not talk about insult to elders.
The then prime minister P V Narasimha Rao, who had steered the Congress governments in difficult times, was insulted by the party even after his death,” it said.
The Sena also referred to the 2013 incident when Rahul Gandhi tore an ordinance (on protecting convicted lawmakers) in the presence of the then prime minister Manmohan Singh.
“What happened with Sitaram Kesari (former Congress president who was succeeded by Sonia Gandhi)?….Therefore it does not suit the Congress to talk about respecting elders,” the Sena said.
Praising Advani, the Sena said he was responsible for expanding the BJP’s footprint across the country.
“Every shining sun has to set. The BJP could reach the top because of Advani’s ‘Rath yatra’ in Ayodhya in 1990s. The BJP is reaping (dividends) because of Advani’s toil,” the Sena said.
Efforts of regional parties to form grand alliance with Cong reprehensible: Modi
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday dubbed as “reprehensible” efforts of regional parties to form a grand alliance with the Congress, saying socialist ideologue Ram Manohar Lohia would be “horrified” as most of these parties claim to be his followers.
In a blog to mark the 109th birth anniversary of Lohia, Modi alleged, “Today those parties that falsely claim to be Dr. Lohia’s followers are desperate to form an opportunistic ‘maha-milawat’ or adulteration alliances with the same Congress (which Lohia opposed). It is both ironical and reprehensible.”
Today is a day to honour revolutionaries. We pay tributes to great sons of Mother India Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru for their ultimate sacrifice. We bow to a prolific thinker, exceptional inte
The Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal-Secular, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal, which will merge with the RJD after the Lok Sabha polls, were some of the parties formed on socialist ideology.
On the other hand, Modi said Lohia would be “proud” of the NDA government led by the BJP for following his ideas. “Dr Lohia’s thoughts inspire us. He wrote about modernising agriculture and empowering farmers, which the NDA government is effectively doing through efforts such as PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, Krishi Sinchai Yojana, e-Nam, Soil Health Cards and more,” he said in the blog shared on Twitter.
Referring to gender inequality, the prime minister said nothing pained Lohia more than the caste hierarchy and inequality between women and men.
“But neck deep in vote bank politics, it was parties that dishonestly claim to be Dr Lohia’s followers that opposed the NDA government’s move to abolish the inhuman practice of triple talaq,” he alleged. Hitting out at the Congress, Modi said whenever Lohia spoke, the Congress “trembled with fear”.
He said Lohia had once claimed that during the Congress regime neither agriculture and industry nor the Army improved. “These words can accurately describe even subsequent Congress regimes, where farmers were harassed, industry was discouraged (except if they belonged to friends and relatives of Congress leaders) and national security was ignored,” the PM wrote. Noting that anti-Congressism was Lohia’s “heart and soul”, Modi said, “Unfortunately, today Lohia would be horrified at the political developments taking place.”
“Those parties that claim inspiration from Lohia have completely abandoned his principles. They are leaving no opportunity to insult him… Lohia always believed that dynastic politics was inimical to democracy. He would have been flabbergasted to see his ‘followers’ think about their own families first instead of the nation,” he wrote. Modi alleged that these parties are “experts at grabbing power, looting as much as possible and exploiting others.
Poor people, tribals, Dalits, OBCs and women are not safe in their rule because these parties give a free run to criminals and anti-social elements.”
He said people should realise as to how can those who betrayed Lohia be expected to serve the nation. “Today they are betraying the principles of Dr Lohia, tomorrow they will also betray the people of India,” Modi alleged.
‘People will not forgive Oppn’: PM after Pitroda raises questions on strike
New Delhi: Reacting to Pitroda’s comment, PM Modi said, “Opposition insults our forces time and again. I appeal to my fellow Indians- question Opposition leaders on their statements. Tell them- 130 crore Indians will not forgive or forget the Opposition for their antics. India stands firmly with our forces.”
“Loyal courtier of Congress’ royal dynasty admits what the nation already knew- Congress was unwilling to respond to forces of terror. This is a New India- we will answer militants in a language they understand and with interest,” read another tweet posted by PM Modi.
Minutes after PM Modi’s attack, Pitroda clarified his remarks stating that he was speaking in personal capacity and not on the behalf of the Congress party.
“I just said as a citizen I am entitled to know what happened. I am not talking on behalf of party, just speaking as a citizen. I have right to know, what is wrong in it,” news agency ANI quoted Pitroda as saying.
The prime minister also hit out at Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav, who on Thursday said that Pulwama attack was a “conspiracy” in which “soldiers were killed for votes”.
“Opposition is the natural habitat of terror apologists and questioners of our armed forces. This reprehensible statement by a senior leader like Ram Gopal Ji insults all those who have given their lives in protecting Kashmir. It humiliates the families of our martyrs,” PM Modi wrote on Twitter.
A CRPF convoy was targeted in a suicide bombing on February 14 in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama killing 40 soldiers. Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack.
On February 26, the IAF carried a strike at a camp, believed to be the biggest training centre of the Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pakistan’s Balakot. The IAF later said that the mission was “successful”, which Pakistan denied.
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