At around 6 p.m on Sunday, a hotelier was allegedly attacked in the name of beef at Hotel Hayat Rabbani, Polo Victory, Jaipur. Reportedly, on the basis of a hoax call that beef was being served at Hayat Rabbani Hotel, a crowd gathered demanding that the owner Naeem Rabbani come out. When he did not, they allegedly beat up his staff. Kavita Srivastava who is the National Secretary of PUCL (People’s Union for Civil Liberties) was called upon to visit the place. This is the narrative she wrote about the incident on her Facebook account.

One Kamal didi ( she signs as Kamal didi too) of the Rashtriya Mahila Gau Rakshak Mandal was trying to catch stray cows with the help of the nagar nigam to take them to the Gau shalas, when Qasim a cleaner boy from Rabbani Hotel came to throw garbage in an empty plot near the dustbin on Kanti Chandra road. All the hoteliers and other private residents throw garbage there. Some of the stray cows who were hanging out near the kachra, (The stray cow population of the city is always hovering near dustbins, as they are very hungry) immediately went for the freshly thrown bags, which had food waste along with some chicken / mutton bones.

Kamal Didi immediately started thrashing Qasim that he was trying to pollute the cows with beef and dragged and him and brought him to the hotel, with 15 other of her followers. Very soon, more than a hundred people joined them, all wanting Rabbani to come out. The police was called that beef was being cooked and served in this hotel. The police and the media came together. The Gau Rakshaks are always with the media. When they could not find Rabbani, they picked up Wasim the receptionist and the cleaner and booked them under section 151 CrPC and arrested them. At the hotel, they found brochures on the activities of the SIO (the Jamaat Student wing), writings of Maulana Wahauddin and the communal HARMONY campaign literature of Jamait Islami hind, so the police reached the jamaat office asking for Naeem Rabbani. When they learnt that he was not there, they went to his house and as said by filmstar Ajeet’s in his famous dialogue “uski ma, behen ko utha lao”, they picked up the brother in law Abdul Rehman, who had nothing to do with the hotel. Which is when people got in touch with me.

I rushed to the Sindhi camp police station, the police let the brother in law go, it was only on our way out that we learnt that they had picked up two others of the hotel, after dropping Abdul Rehman safely to his relatives, we went back to the police station to meet the other two and get them out. But the police told us that they had been booked and arrested. They would be produced in front of a magistrate and restrained.

What is interesting is that the protest over the hoax cry that beef was being cooked, resulted in police taking the meat samples and also the Jaipur Municipal corporation sealing the hotel. They got all the guests out and sealed it. What is sad is that Hyatt Rabbani has been getting awards regularly from the hoteliers association for good service among the other things. Now the hotel is closed. Rabbani is being asked to show up in the morning and will also be restrained under sec 151, Cr PC.

The Muslim community leadership is in a state of shock as to how could the police come under pressure and book Rabbani and pick up his staff over just an allegation of beef being cooked and served when it was all false. They are very upset. The electronic media, has kind of declared that the meat samples were of suspicious nature. Did not seem mutton or chicken.

Some were also sure that this was done by the next door hotelier who was threatened by their booming business. The ward councillor Nirmala Sharma was also there. Who was directing the JMC staff to seal the hotel. While this was being done, the crowds were shouting Jai Shree Ram. Infact, Jai Shree Ram and other slogans were constantly being raised in the drama which lasted 4 and a half hour. From 6pm to 10.30pm

Qasim and Wasim are spending the night in the police station, Hopefully should be released tomorrow. Rabbani not knowing what has hit him, he was just working hard and doing business, is now preparing to face the police. His friends and other members of the Muslim community kept saying that all over Jaipur people are throwing garbage as there are not even garbage bins, why take action against us only. When I told this to a senior police official he said we only act somebody complains.

This is not the first beef related case in Rajasthan. On 30th May, 2015 in village Birloka, Khimsar Tehsil, Nagaur District 60-year-old Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi was lynched by a mob for no fault of his. Simply because a rumour spread that Muslims had killed more than 200 cows for a feast and pictures of the carcasses started circulating on social media. Young men in thousands gathered in the fields of Kumhari village where the carcasses were lying as the municipality contractor had rented the field to dispose of a cattle carcass, as a routine municipal exercise, hate speeches and protests took off all over and before one knew Abdul Ghaffar Quereshi who had nothing to do with the incident was beaten with iron rods and killed in the market place, despite some of his Hindu neighbours trying to help him. The hate speech had provoked the neighbourhood to just kill the man as there wanted him out of the village.
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