The Nagpur Rural Police have arrested Salim Shaha, a BJP worker who was allegedly beaten up by cow vigilantes earlier this week, under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act for possession of beef. Shaha was beaten up by some people on July 12 on the suspicion that he was carrying beef.
Police had said yesterday that as per the forensic laboratory report, the meat which he was carrying that day was beef. Superintendent of police (Nagpur Rural) Shailesh Balkawde told PTI today that Shaha was arrested last night, and produced before Narkhed magistrate's court in the district today which sent him in police custody for one day. Police will ask for extension of his custody tomorrow, the SP said, adding that a case has been registered at Jalalkheda Police Station. Shaha (34), a resident of Katol town in Nagpur district, was returning home on his motorcycle when a group of five or six men accosted him at a bus stop in the Bharsingi village on July 12. They allegedly assaulted him on the suspicion that he was carrying beef. Shaha's family, however, said he may not have known what he was carrying. The family was initially reluctant to talk about the forensic report, stating that it was already "in trouble". But "Salim may not have been aware of what he was carrying," a relative said. The Nagpur (rural) unit president of the BJP, Rajiv Potdar, had said Shaha would be dismissed from the party. After Shaha was beaten up and taken to a hospital, four men--Ashwin Uike (35), Rameshwar Taywade (42), Moreshwar Tandurkar (36) and Jagdish Chaudhari (25)--were arrested and booked under charge of voluntarily causing grievous hurt.