India’s Mumbai – By today, Rafiq Tamboli would be 33 years old. Maybe he is still, though. His wife is unaware of his whereabouts. He hasn’t been seen in at least two years.
Rafiq, a resident of Mumbai’s Qureshi Nagar neighborhood in the Kurla neighborhood, worked as a driver hauling meat for a few vendors in the animal trade.
On June 4, 2021, he was given the task of picking up meat from the city of Daund in Maharashtra’s Pune district. Mumbai, the state capital, is located approximately 250 kilometers (155 miles) away.
At around 9 o’clock in the evening, Rafiq loaded the meat into his truck and started the five-hour trip back home. Just before he started driving, he made a call to his wife, Reshma Tamboli.
The 35-year-old said, “It was a normal conversation.” “I questioned him about his meal intake. He promised to do so in about 30 minutes. That’s all there was.
That evening, Reshma began calling Rafiq urgently when he did not come home. The phone was unplugged.
She went to the neighborhood police station in Mumbai’s Chunabhatti neighbourhood to lodge a complaint when he still hadn’t shown up even three days later.
Reshma added, “The cops phoned the man Rafiq worked for. At that point, he revealed to us that cow vigilantes in Daund had stopped his truck.
Her heart fell as soon as she heard that.
Mob lynchings in India have increased since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, took office in 2014. These killings have been justified by the defense of cows, which some Hindus see as sacred.
Critics assert that the organized, frequently armed, and hitherto marginalized cow vigilantes have entered the mainstream as a result of receiving political favors from the BJP.
A New Delhi-based organization that has been compiling information on crimes against India’s minorities—mostly Muslims—since 2014 has a category for violence involving cows.
Swami, 27, claimed in the statement that he learned of a truck delivering cow flesh to Mumbai at 5 p.m. that day from his sources.
Swami assembled a few members of his Akhil Bhartiya Krishi Gauseva Sangh (All India Agriculture Cow Service Organization), according to the statement, and waited for Rafiq near Ravangaon village in Daund along the Pune-Solapur route.
According to Swami’s account, they saw the truck about 10:30 night and asked the driver to pull over. Rafiq, the driver, fled as soon as he noticed the cow vigilantes, and they were unable to apprehend him, according to Swami.