08/08/2016 1:56 PM IST | Updated 08/08/2016 2:15 PM IST

Dalit Man Drowns Trying To Save Himself From 'Gau-Rakshaks'

He had accidentally hit three stray cows.

File photo of motorists driving past stray cows on a road in Allahabad, India, Friday, Jan. 31, 2014.

Mani Lal Parmar was on his way to Surat to deliver a truckload of wheat when it happened. In Raisen, about 65 kilometres away from Bhopal, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, he accidentally hit three stray cows.

It was Thursday night, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was yet to launch into an offensive against the self-styled gau-rakshaks (cow protectors), and Parmar was a Dalit. He knew how four Dalit men had been stripped and flogged in Gujarat for trading in cow skin, and then again in Uttar Pradesh.

As local Bajrang Dal activists began hunting for Parmar, he decided to jump into the river Barna to save himself. His helper, Mohsin, followed suit.

Parmar's body washed up on the Pipliya Ghat on Sunday afternoon, reported The Telegraph. Mohsin survived by reportedly hanging on to a boulder all night on Thursday. A case has been registered against "unidentified" Bajrang Dal supporters, who may never be arrested. Meanwhile, Parmar is survived by his wife and four children, and his aged mother.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said on Saturday that these self-styled cow protectors "run shops in the name of cow protection" and asked state governments to compile a list of such people.

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