The Muslim man who was thrashed by cow vigilantes in Nagpur district of Maharashtra three days ago was carrying beef, police said today. Police had arrested four persons for beating up Salim Shaha (34), a member of Katol unit of the BJP, on July 12 and sent the meat he was carrying to a forensic laboratory. Superintendent of Police (Nagpur rural) Shailesh Balkawde told PTI today that the lab report was “positive”, i.e. it was beef. Police will initiate further action against Shaha as per the law, he said. BJP Nagpur rural unit’s president Dr Rajiv Potdar said that it was shocking that Shaha has been found to be carrying beef that day, and he would be dismissed from the party.
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Stern action should be taken against him according to the law, but people must not take law in their own hands and resort to violence in such cases, Potdar said. Salim’s mother had claimed that he was the head of the BJP’s Katol tehsil minority morcha, while local BJP leaders had said he was a party member. The incident of thrashing had drawn strong condemnation from the ruling BJP’s coalition partner Shiv Sena, besides the opposition Congress and NCP, while the BJP had sought to play it down, calling it a “stray” incident.
Shaha, resident of Katol town in Nagpur district, was returning home on his motorcycle when 5-6 men accosted him at a bus stop on July 12 in Bharsingi village on suspicion that he was carrying beef, and assaulted him. Ashwin Uike (35), Rameshwar Taywade (42), Moreshwar Tandurkar (36) and Jagdish Chaudhari (25) were arrested under IPC sections 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt).