Three men in a tempo shot dead a cow protection activist Ashish Punia, a transporter by profession, on the afternoon of 25 Aug in Sector 7, Gurugram. The accused fired several rounds at Punia who was riding a scooty at the time – police rushed him to hospital where he was declared dead by the doctors after inspection. Police has lodged a complaint and started the investigation – it suspects the involvement of cow smugglers in the crime.
According to police, Ashish Punia (Lala), a resident of Sector-7, Housing Board Colony was involved in transportation work. On Friday afternoon, he was going to sector 9 on his Activa for some work. Around the same time three men in a tempo (small truck) arrived and started firing at him incessantly. People around were in shock and too scared to react. According to reports, Punia suffered five bullet injuries and police was informed.
The police arrived at the spot and took the injured to the hospital where he was declared dead by the doctors. The in-charge of New Colony Police Station Inspector Babulal said, “The investigation is in progress and police is finding evidence by questioning locals.The culprits will sooner be behind the bars.”
Cow protection volunteer for 18 months
Ashish Punia had been associated with Gau Raksha Dal (Cow protection group) for the last 18 months and had succeeded in saving cows from smugglers by putting his own life at stake many a time.
He lived in a a joint family with his parents and brother. He leaves behind a wife and two children. According to neighbours, Ashish was a good natured person.
Around 18 months back a case was filed against him for an altercation with cow smugglers, from which he was acquitted by the court three months ago. The police is trying to trace the tempo in which the three attackers came and executed this crime. For this they are questioning those staying near the scene of the crime.
Cow smugglers are part of a dangerous, well-armed syndicate which operates quite brazenly across large parts of Bharat. Haryana and adjoining areas of Rajasthan and West UP are hot spots of cattle trafficking and incidents of police and cow protection volunteers being fired upon
and killed are quite common. Many of these traffickers are based in the Mewat region of Haryana.
So deep and well-entrenched is this racket that law enforcement agencies, with their limited resources, are unable to tackle it on their own, and rely on neighborhood watch groups to feed them information about trafficking attempts. These gau rakshaks (cow protection volunteers) are often locals who group together to offer first level of protection to farmers and dairy owners who are targeted by the smugglers.
Cow is also considered especially sacred by Hindus, and is affectionately called ‘mother’ for various reasons. In small towns and villages, a cow is considered as a part of the family by the entire village, and hence there is a spontaneous reaction when smugglers target this gentle, loving animal.
Yet, the liberal intelligentsia sitting in our metros & the entire political class demonizes gau rakshaks as fanatics and criminals, and paints the cow smugglers as a persecuted group. Incidents involving gau rakshaks are selectively highlighted – the many, many cases of brutal violence against gau rakshaks are totally censored by mainstream media or spun in a way to somehow politicize the issue and justify violence against the gau rakshaks.
This incident took place almost a month ago – Ashish Punia never existed for our liberals or English media, and his death remains unmourned. More tragically, not many Hindus know about his sacrifice as well.
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