The Uttar Pradesh Police is under the scanner for tying two alleged cattle thieves to a hospital bed after they were beaten by a mob of 50 people on the suspicion of stealing a buffalo in the state's Etah district.
According to a Times of India report, the two accused, Asif and Rehan, who were beaten and paraded naked by the residents of Ghiraura village for allegedly trying to steal a buffalo early on Tuesday morning, were rescued by the policemen who took them to a government hospital for first aid. However, at the hospital, the police officers chained the two suspects by their arms and legs to the hospital bed.
Praising the concerned officers' questionable step, a senior official, said on condition of anonymity, "The apprehended cattle thieves are hardened criminals. We feared if they tried to flee from the hospital, the angry mob waiting outside would lynch them. So, the policemen on duty chained them to the bed."
A video doing the rounds on social media shows a mob tying the alleged cow smugglers to a tree, beating them mercilessly, and then parading them naked.
The officer handling the case said it was the "smugglers" who first opened fire at the villagers, after which the villagers attacked them in "self-defence".
The accused were booked under sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapons), 149 (unlawful assembly for an offense committed in prosecution of common object), 307 (attempted murder), 379 (theft) and 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) of the IPC.
This is not the first incident of self-styled gau rakshaks torturing people. Recently, a Muslim dairy farmer in Alwar district in Rajasthan was beaten to death by so-called cow vigilantes.
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