'Cow slaughter' charge being used to target family, claims Indian cricketer's father
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15/01/16  NEW DELHI (Web Desk) - Indian fast bowler Mohammed Shami’s father, Tauseef Ahmad, on Friday claimed that his family was in ‘danger’ as they were being targeted for ‘cow slaughter’.

These comments appeared in a Times of India report a day after his son Mohammad Haseeb (brother of Shami) was arrested and then subsequently released on bail for allegedly assaulting a police officer on duty.

Haseeb was also accused of ‘pressuring cops’ to release a group of men arrested on charges of cow slaughter.

“My son was not even present there at the time of the incident. He reached the site much later,” Tauseef Ahmad told TOI.

“He (Haseeb) was just an onlooker. He was unnecessarily dragged into the controversy . It is just that a few people are nurturing enmity with our family because of the publicity we have got after Shami started playing for team India. I had reported the issue to the DM a month ago. This (the arrest) is a result of that. A term like ‘cow slaughter’ is being used to target us,” he further added.

Ved Prakash, Amroha district magistrate, said that Ahmad had met him a month ago.

“He came with a complaint that someone was threatening his family on phone. But he did not say who they were,” Prakash said.

SHO of Didoli, Praveen Kumar, on Thursday got a tip-off about a certain Rizwan Ahmad who was wanted in a cow slaughter case.

When Kumar’s team reached the site, Haseeb allegedly scuffled with sub-inspector Pradeep Bhardwaj, preventing the arrest of the accused who eventually fled.

“Haseeb stopped the police vehicle which was carrying the accused. When the sub-inspector and constables confronted him, Haseeb became violent. We filed an FIR on charges of rioting, promoting enmity between groups and causing hurt to deter public servant from doing his duty among others. However, due to ill-health, he was given bail,” Kumar said.

Cow slaughter and consumption of beef are banned many states of officially secular India, which has substantial Muslim and Christian populations.

In September last year, a Muslim family was attacked outside Delhi by a group of Hindus after false rumours they were keeping beef in their home. The father was beaten to death and his son was severely injured.

Several other incidents were reported weeks later, including the killing of a truck driver in northern Himachal Pradesh state for attempting to smuggle cattle to a slaughter house.

In 2015, the killing of at least three Muslims suspected of eating beef or smuggling cows by Hindu mobs have heightened fears of rising violence against India s religious minorities.

The deaths also sparked a wider debate about growing religious intolerance since Prime Minister Narendra Modi s Hindu nationalist government came to power at general elections last May.

Dozens of authors have returned India s highest literary award in protest over the rise in violence, which they fear includes the recent murder of a secular intellectual, while petitions demanding government action have attracted signature from scientists, actors and filmmakers.

The government has been accused of failing to rein in Hindu hardliners, while its ministers have at times appeared to be inflaming the debate.
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