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‘He Was Hit by Sticks and Iron Rods in the Head,’ Says Brother of Muslim Man ‘Lynched by Cow Vigilantes’ in Gujarat

Gujarat Lynching Muslim man Cow

On May 22, a Muslim man named Mishri Khan Baloch was allegedly lynched to death by cow vigilantes in Banaskantha, Gujarat, while accompanying a driver transporting buffalos.

Baloch’s brother, Sher Khan, states that Baloch and the driver were chased and stopped by the cow vigilantes, who demanded extortion money from them.

“They asked for 2 lakh rupees from my brother and the driver of the pickup truck and started to beat them. The driver somehow managed to escape but the mob continued to beat my brother,” said Khan.

“He was hit by sticks and iron rods in the head… those injuries most likely caused his death,” he said.

Bache Khan Baloch, the driver of the pickup truck, lodged a complaint with the police saying, “At around 5:00 AM, Mishrikhan, Jumekhan, our mother Biki, and I set out in my pickup truck to the market in Gawadi. We noticed a Scorpio car with a punctured tyre and then it started chasing us. Inside were Akherajsingh Prabatsingh and others from Vatamwala, threatening to kill us.”

“I sped up, but a tyre burst near Bhawani Hotel, forcing us to stop. I hid in a nearby thicket while Mishrikhan, Rahim Khan, and Baloch Nao stayed in the truck. Akherajsingh and others attacked them with iron pipes and bars, beating them and vandalizing the truck. I watched from hiding and later found Mishrikhan dead from severe head injuries. I reported the incident to the Agathala police station, and the police arrived.”

Mujahid Nafees, convener of the Minority Coordination Committee, stated that many residents of Banaskantha district are involved in the animal trade, selling animals throughout Gujarat. However, groups of thugs in the district often stop these animal traders and their vehicles to extort money from them.

“Those who do not pay are beaten up in public. Last year, an animal trader was beaten up badly in the Sesan village of this district, the main accused of which is also the main accused in yesterday’s incident,” said Nafees.

Nafees said that about a month ago in Deesa, policemen transporting animals to a shelter were publicly assaulted by a similar gang. Mishri Khan’s case, where he lost his life, is another example.

“Certainly, forming a group and surrounding people with a specific purpose and beating them up falls under the category of mob lynching.”

Nafees said that the government needs to identify such groups, monitor them closely, and focus on areas prone to such activities.

“Such criminals should be given the harshest punishment,” he added.

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