Exclusive: Begusarai: Mob Brutally Attacks Muslim Man on Suspicion of Carrying Beef, Police Files FIR Against Victim
48-year-old Mohammed Istekhar is currently in the hospital. The family has described his condition as serious.
Around 8.30 in the morning on May 3, 48-year-old Mohammed Istekhar was returning from the Teghra market to his home in the Dhankaul village, in the Begusarai district of Bihar. It was a big day. Guests had come over to Istekhar’s place to talk about the marriage of his daughter. For this reason, he had gone to buy meat — buffalo meat — for the feast.
But as he was returning with the meat, riding his cycle, a few drunk men in the Aalapur village decided to stop him. Deva Chaudhary a.k.a Devna, Rangnath Chaudhary, Rahul Chaudhary, Chhotu Chaudhary, Gunjan Sharma and around four or five others started harassing Istekhar. They dragged him to a nearby field and beat him up with sticks, iron rods and even with the butt of a gun. They accused him of carrying cow meat — beef — and threatened to kill him.
They then looted him; Istekhar was allegedly carrying Rs 15,000 with him and the mob demanded an additional Rs 5,000 from him. According to Istekhar, they asked him to tell his family to get it. When the family caught wind of the incident — other villagers had informed them — they rushed to the spot and took a severely injured Istekhar to the Sadar hospital in the Begusarai district.
Istekhar wrote all of this in a complaint letter to the police. But things might prove tricky. Speaking to NewsCentral24x7, Suman Chaudhary, a police officer who has taken charge while the SHO is on a leave of absence, admitted that while the incident had taken place, an FIR had been filed against Istekhar for carrying cow meat. Chaudhary also informed that the meat would be sent for a forensic examination soon. Only then would the matter clear out.
Julekha, Istekhar’s wife, told NewsCentral24x7, “A few guests had come to our place to see our daughter. That’s why he had gone to get the meat. But it was buffalo meat. Not cow. There was some mutton and chicken as well.”
She added that a few drunk men on the road stopped Istekhar and beat him up with rods and rocks. “Itna maara ki wo ekdum serious ho gaye” — they beat him up so badly, his condition became serious.
Istekhar’s brother-in-law Mohammed Mumtaaz said that this kind of thing keeps happening, but things had aggravated further because it was election time and Begusarai is a contentious seat. He also said, “It wasn’t beef. It was buffalo meat. When the government has permitted the sale of that legally, and people buy and sell it regularly, then why is it a problem?”
Istekhar’s sister Parveen too said that incidents like these were commonplace. She told NewsCentral24x7, “Things like this have happened before but we let it go. But this time, they beat him up very badly. They stole our money too.”
Istekhar, who delivers clothes on his cycle, is currently hospitalised. While the family said he’s severely injured, they weren’t able to go into details of his injuries.