7 held for trying to slaughter cows, assaulting activist

But police say victim 'faked' head and hand injuries

7 held for trying to slaughter cows, assaulting activist
Police have arrested seven people for trying to slaughter cows and attacking an animal rights activist at Avalahalli in Thalaghattapura, South Bengaluru, on October 14. But they dismissed as “patently false” the activist’s accusation that they “ill-treated” her and tried to hush up the crime.

The Thalaghattapura police arrested Ashraf (33), Javed Pasha (35), Sameer (32), Shaikh Ahmad (25), Maula (33), Faizan Khan (50) and Razzaq (37) on the basis of a complaint filed by Nandini Matiyani (45), vice-president (human resources), Wipro, and a volunteer for Gau Gyan Foundation. They have been booked for illegal possession of cattle, damaging Matiyani’s car and assaulting her.

DCP (South) S D Sharanappa said: “Seven people were arrested for illegal possession of cattle, assaulting Nandini and damaging her car. We are also looking at other cases in the area and will crack down on illegal cow slaughter.”

According to Matiyani, she and a friend were travelling in a Toyota Innova when they saw 14 desi cows being taken to a slaughterhouse near Tipu Sultan Circle at Avalahalli. She rushed to the Thalaghattapura police station and filed a complaint, seeking immediate action. Police took the complaint and sent 15 officers to rescue the cows. But Matiyani claimed that nothing happened for the next hour. She and her friend then reached the spot to check whether police were really doing their job. At this juncture, she said, 150-200 people started stoning her car and damaged the front windshield. She suffered injuries to the arm and the head, she claimed.

Speaking to DH, Matiyani said that not only did the police failed to check the place where the cows were taken, they even ill-treated her when she reached the police station after escaping from the mob which hurled cement bricks at her car.

She said the police shouted at her, saying she had created a law and order problem in the area. Although the police did register her complaint, they failed to conduct mahazar of the spot. She further said the police “diluted” the FIR by not opening a case of attempted murder.

Police dispute Matiyani’s claims. Vijay Kumar, the inspector, told this newspaper: “After the complaint, around 15 policemen rushed to the spot and rescued the cows. The complainant was not required to verify our operation by visiting the spot as it was not safe. Her car was damaged but she was not injured in the attack.”

He continued: “Following the mob attack, the victim gave a three-page complaint which she wrote by the right hand. Her hand was alright and there were no injuries. We even conducted a medical-legal certificate (MLC) and found no injuries either on her head or hand. But when we saw the newspapers and television channels, we were shocked to see her head bandaged and the right hand in a sling. If her hand was injured, how did she write a three-page complaint?”

The inspector said that after the cows were rescued, Matiyani wasn’t bothered about where to keep them. “She says that we ill-treated her at the police station. That’s far from the truth,” he added.

Gau Gyan Foundation claims its volunteers were previously attacked at Islampur near HAL in 2014 and at Nelamangala in 2016. A petition has been pending before the high court in this regard.

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