Meat trade was never an issue in market, says brother of man assaulted for allegedly selling beef

first_imgSale of meat of any kind was never an issue in the bi-weekly market of Madhupur on the southern edge of Biswanath Chariali town, the brother of a man who was assaulted by a mob on Sunday for allegedly selling beef, said.Biswanath Chariali, headquarters of Biswanath district, is about 240 km north-east of Guwahati.“Our father started running a rice-meal eatery at the Madhupur market every Thursday and Sunday more than 40 years ago. I took over from him and later let my younger brother Shaukat Ali ran it,” Mohammed Sahabuddin, who filed a police complaint on the assault on Monday, told The Hindu.The district authorities, he said, assured him that action would be taken within 24 hours. On Monday night, the police arrested two people identified from the video of the assault that was uploaded on social media. On Sunday, the day of the assault, the police picked up five people, including two market committee leaders, in a bid to disperse a mob. They were let go after signing a good behaviour bond under section 107 of Code of Criminal Procedure.Mr. Sahabuddin, who lives in Kalakati village 15 km from Biswanath Chariali, admitted that the eatery has had beef on the menu for decades while letting customers bring home-cooked meat too. “No one told us we could not sell meat. They could have served a notice instead of attacking my brother, and could have taken action officially if we did not comply,” he said, adding that the mob mostly comprised people from adjoining areas.In his complaint, Mr. Sahabuddin said some members of the mob threatened to force-feed pork to his brother, who stays in the town behind the local police station.District Deputy Commissioner Pabitra Ram Khaund said the authorities swung into action soon after the complaint was lodged and arrested two people connected with the assault. “We took the victim to the hospital and provided treatment. He is now out of danger.” Mr. Khaund said the district administration had summoned leaders of local organisations, including the All Assam Minority Students’ Union, for a meeting toward normalising the situation. “We have made it clear peace must be maintained under any circumstances with the Lok Sabha election a few days away,” he stated.Joint vigilAdditional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Mukesh Agarwal said the police had organised a joint vigil by people of both communities to maintain peace. “High visibility and domination of security forces are in place.” Biswanath Chariali falls under the Tezpur Lok Sabha constituency, which goes to the polls with four other seats in Assam on April 11. Ten candidates are in the fray but the contest is expected to be between Minister Pallab Lochan Das of the BJP and retired IAS officer M.G.V.K. Bhanu of the Congress.The constituency is currently held by the BJP’s Ram Prasad Sarmah, who was denied ticket by the party.last_img

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