On the evening of 14 October, Nandini Neeraj, an animal-rights activist, filed a complaint at the Talaghattapura police station in Bengaluru, alleging that residents of Avalahalli, a Muslim-majority neighbourhood on the outskirts of the city, were illegally slaughtering cows. After filing the complaint, Neeraj returned to Avalahalli. According to various accounts she later gave to the police and to the media, her car was pelted with bricks and stones, causing it great damage, and injuring her and her friend Rijil V, who was also in the car.
Neeraj claimed in these later accounts that two constables had accompanied her on the second trip as well, but had fled as soon as the attack began. After the stone- and brick-pelting ceased, she returned to the police station to file a second complaint. She stated in this complaint that “we found ourselves surrounded by a murderous mob in a dead end near the slaughter house & the place where 11 cattle were hidden in inhuman conditions.” On 18 October, the Bengaluru police posted a press release on their official Twitter account. In it, the police disputed certain aspects of Neeraj’s account of the incident—the statement denied that two constables had accompanied her on her second trip, and noted that Neeraj’s car, a Toyota Innova, had also hit an auto and a meat shop in the area, which accompanied the pelting.
In the aftermath of the incident, Neeraj claimed to the Indian Express that Karnataka was becoming a “mini Pakistan,” which is being controlled by an “animal slaughter mafia.” On 17 October, the news channel Times Now ran a 50-minute debate titled “Will Anyone Stand Up For Gau Sevaks?” which chronicled cases of attacks against cow-protection activists. In fact, most media reports of the incident included only Neeraj’s claims, not those of the residents of Avalahalli. Neither the residents nor the police denied that Neeraj had been attacked—several residents admitted to me that a mob had thrown stones and bricks at her car. However, my conversations with them raised doubts about the authenticity of Neeraj’s account of the circumstances leading up to the attack, as well as the occurrence of alleged illegal cow slaughter in the area.