The problem is persisting for many years as professional gangs are involved in the job

Instances of theft of sheep and goats are not restricted to city outskirts alone. The old city is also facing a similar problem for the last many years. Gangs steal sheep and goats daringly from the streets during broad daylight.

Many poor families in the slum areas rear sheep and goats to supplement their family income. The animals are allowed to roam freely in the neighbourhood every morning and at the end of the day they return to the shed.

“A sheep or goat can fetch anywhere between Rs. 3,000 and Rs. 8,000 and cashing upon it many professional gangs are engaged in stealing in this part of the city,” says Shaik Jilani, a resident of Shastripuram who has lost more than six goats in the last three years. Thieves use autorickshaws to carry out their activities. They scout the localities in the afternoon and on spotting them at isolated places, the gangsters lift them and dump them in the autorickshaw and speed away.

Even the bravest dare not confront them by standing in front of their autorickshaw as they are known for their hit and run tactics. In a recent incident a youth of Gazi-e-Millat Colony in Chandrayangutta tried to stop one gang after chasing the autorickshaw but the auto driver tried to run over him.

It was only after the intervention of over a dozen odd youth of the locality that the two-member gang was caught. The thieves were given a sound thrashing before being handed over to the police. Jahangir, a local resident of the area, said that he has lost more than three goats in the one year.

“I have incurred a loss of about Rs. 15,000 due to the thefts. The police also do not take such thefts seriously,” he laments.

The stolen sheep and goats are sold to slaughterhouses or selected butchers, who are hand in glove with cattle thieves for 60 per cent of its market price making it profitable for the butcher and the thieves, it is said.

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