- 20-year-old is in hospital, said he was taken into room and beaten
- Apuda Malviya was in "business" of selling cows, says arrested man
- The men had dispute with victim over money: police
The police have arrested three men for the incident that took place on May 13. But while the police claim the assailants were not cow vigilantes and the young man got beaten up over a personal dispute, one of the arrested men had a different story to tell.
Chetan, who wore a pink t-shirt, told reporters that they had joined in beating the young man after hearing that he had chopped off the tail of a cow. "A cow is like a mother to us, so we also started hitting him. Now they have registered a case against us," he said, alleging that the man targeted was in the "business" of selling cows.
From his hospital bed, 20-year-old Apuda Malviya, steered clear of the cow controversy. The men, he said, had taken him to a room and repeatedly beaten him.
A senior officer of the local police, OP Mishra, said the men had a dispute with the victim over money and hence the thrashing. The accused have been accused of voluntarily causing hurt and criminal intimidation, Mr Mishra said.
In July last year, two women had kicked, punched and slapped as the police watched at a railway station in Mandsaur, barely 150 km away from Ujjain. Screaming "Gau Mata Ki Jai (Hail holy cow)" the mob had slapped and punched the women, till one of them collapsed. The police said they were at the railway station to arrest the women, who were allegedly travelling with a large quantity of beef.
The matter had caused ripples in parliament, with opposition leaders including Mayawati, accusing the government of being "anti-women".