A 16-year-old boy in Rajasthan’s Alwar district was allegedly run over by self-styled cow vigilantes on Sunday morning, his family members have alleged.

The police have said that the boy, identified as Sabir Khan, a resident of Sare Kalan village in Tijara tehsil of Alwar district, died in a vehicle collision after being caught in the middle of a chase between alleged cow smugglers and people chasing them. The teenager’s family members, however, accused the police of trying to suppress the matter.

According to the FIR registered in the matter, the incident took place at around 5:45 am on Sunday morning near Nehar Khedi Road in Alwar district.

Sabir’s family members have stated in the FIR that the teen, along with his friends, would go running every morning and around 4-5 days ago, they had an argument with one Anil over the latter’s reckless driving.

“On that day, Anil had threatened my nephew and his companions that ‘after today if I see you running on this road, then I will run you down with this car and you won’t be do anything to me because I have relationships with Gauraksha Dal and Bajrangbal (sic)’,” says the FIR lodged by Sabir’s uncle after the incident.

The FIR says that after running over Sabir with their car on Sunday morning, the accused also reminded his friends of his prior threat.

Sabir’s friend Mohammed Alim, 20, who was present at the time of the incident, said: “Each day, several of our friends would go for running on that road. Some time back, we had an argument with Anil, a resident of a nearby village, when we asked him not to overspeed since we run on that road. Anil had threatened us at that time. He works with the Bajrang Dal. On Sunday morning, after running over Sabir, he slowed down the car and told me, I have run over your brother, now you know me,” said 20-year-old Mohammed Alim, who was present at the time of the incident.

He claimed that after Anil hit Sabir with his car, another car which was also being driven by his associates drove over the boy.

Imran Khan, a cousin brother of Sabir, said: “Sabir was studying in class 11 and wanted to join the Army. Each day, along with his friends he would go on a run and exercise early in the morning. Earlier as well, people from nearby village Bhogipur who are associated with the gau raksha dal and Bajrang Dal had threatened the kids. On Sunday, they deliberately ran Sabir over with their vehicles despite the fact that he was standing at the side of the road. These people have created a terror here in the name of cow protection.”

On the basis of the complaint submitted by the family of Sabir, the police have registered an FIR at the Chupanki police station under sections 302 (murder), 143 (unlawful assembly) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), naming seven accused — Anil, Mintu, Himansu, Pushkar, Soun, Rahul and Abu, all residents of Haryana.

“Preliminary investigation suggests that a vehicle in which cows were being transported was passing the area and it hit Sabir. The people in that vehicle were cow smugglers. There was another vehicle driven by locals which was following the cow smugglers to catch them. This vehicle too hit Sabir. An FIR has also been registered at the Tauru Sadar police station in Nuh district of Haryana against the cow smugglers and 15 cows were found in their vehicle. Sabir was hit by two vehicles — one being driven by the cow smugglers, other belonging to those chasing the smugglers,” said Hari Ram Kumawat, deputy superintendent of police, Bhiwadi police circle.

He added that so far the police have arrested three people Sonu, Narendra and Harkesh in the matter on the basis of police investigation.

Family members of Sabir, including his cousin Imran and brother-in-law Shahrukh, accused the police of trying to suppress the matter.

“The police want to completely change the direction of the case and suppress the issue. There is no role of any vehicle transporting cows. The accused threatened the kids before and then killed Sabir,” said Imran.

Alim, who was on the spot at the time of the incident, said that Sabir was hit by cars being driven by the accused and denied that he was hit by a vehicle transporting cows.

The police denied the allegations of police inaction.

“The family members have said in the FIR that the accused had threatened them before. But in preliminary investigation we haven’t found anything to corroborate this. It appears to be a case of road accident but still, we are carrying out the investigation and more will be clear after the probe. An FIR has been registered in Haryana related to cow smuggling and we have registered an FIR regarding the death of the kid. It is wrong to say that police are trying to suppress the matter,” said Bhiwadi SP Ram Moorty Joshi.

He added that in preliminary investigation association of the accused with any organization hasn’t been found and further probe is being conducted.

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