Indian police arrest ‘cow vigilante’ over religious violence

Police in the northern Indian state of Haryana arrested a wanted cow vigilante who was at the centre of the deadly religious violence that killed six people in July.

According to police, Monu Manesar (originally named Mohit Yadav) was arrested while he was passing through a market in the state’s Gurugram district.

“To our information, he is the one who had put an instigating video on July 28, ahead of a religious match.

“This provoked the community and led to widespread violence,” a senior police officer in Haryana, Mamta Singh said.

“We are questioning him in our cases only. Rajasthan police too have got his warrants.”

Mr Manesar is also a prime suspect in the Feb. 15 murder of two Muslim men in neighbouring Rajasthan state.

The violence in Haryana’s Nun began on July 31, during a religious match organised by the Hindu hardline group Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and then spread to adjoining areas, including Gurugram.

During the clashes, many vehicles were set ablaze and the agitated mob resorted to stone pelting.

Subsequently, incidents of arson were also reported.

Cow slaughtering is a sensitive issue in India and sometimes flares up communal passions.

To defend cows, groups under the patronage of rightwing Hindu organisations have come up in rural areas of India to protect them and stop the sale of beef.

The groups routinely check vehicles and often beat up cattle traders.

Many people were lynched by these groups.


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