Rajasthan vigilantes attack TN team transporting cattle

The officials of the Tamil Nadu Animal Husbandry Department had NOC and all required papers and permission to transport cattle.

June 12, 2017 04:28 pm | Updated December 03, 2021 05:17 pm IST - Jaipur

Around 50 cow vigilantes targeted officials of the Tamil Nadu government transporting cows from Jaisalmer to their state. Photo used for illustration purpose only. File

Around 50 cow vigilantes targeted officials of the Tamil Nadu government transporting cows from Jaisalmer to their state. Photo used for illustration purpose only. File

In yet another incident of brutal cow vigilantism, a crowd of about 50 miscreants at Barmer in Rajasthan attacked staff and officials of the Tamil Nadu government’s Animal Husbandry Department on suspicion of cattle smuggling late on Sunday night.

The team of five assistants and a veterinarian from Tamil Nadu had purchased 50 head of cattle, including cows, bulls and calves of the prized Tharparkar variety at a cost of ₹50 lakh, and were transporting them in five trucks.

Police said they had the required documents and permission from the district administration and were accompanying the trucks carrying the animals when the cow vigilantes attacked at around 11.30 p.m.

The mob thrashed the officials and the drivers and cleaners of the trucks and tried to set one of the trucks on fire. Two of the assistants, Balamurugan and Karuppaiah, and the Veterinarian N. Aravindaraj were severely injured in the attack. The mob then blocked National Highway 15 for close to three hours.

Policemen who tried to disperse the crowd were also attacked and pelted with stones forcing a lathicharge to clear the highway. Four men — Chaina Ram, Kamlesh, Vikram and Jaswant — were later arrested.

A case has been registered against 50 others on charges of assault, deterring public servants from discharge of their duties and under the National Highways Act.

Seven policemen, including a Station House Officer Jai Ram, were sent to the Police Lines in disciplinary action for dereliction of duty and reaching the spot late.

The trucks were later taken to the police station and the animals sent to a cow shelter. In the melee, two of the cows ran away and are now missing.

“Though the miscreants initially wanted to set fire to the trucks, they did not do so since they were carrying cattle. Though the veterinarian showed them appropriate documents and the trucks had banners, the men did not believe them and beat them [the officials] up. The staff are badly shaken and scared. However, the [Barmer] district administration has been very helpful and cooperative,” a Tamil Nadu official said. Barmer Deputy Superintendent of Police Om Prakash Ujjwal told The Hindu that preliminary investigation had revealed that the cattle were being taken to the District Livestock Farm, Chettinad, under the Rashtriya Gokul Mission to improve the cattle breeds. The animals were purchased from Changhan, Lathi, Dholia and Bhadaria villages in Jaisalmer district.

This is the second major incident of violence by cow vigilantes in Rajasthan in just two months. Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer from Haryana, was beaten to death and his associates were injured in an attack by cow vigilantes near Behror in Alwar district, situated on the Jaipur-Delhi national highway, in April this year.

Cattle are usually transported at night to avoid the heat. “They leave by 4 p.m. and travel till the next morning covering 500 to 600 kms and then rest till the evening,” an official explained. The cattle will be moved after arranging for trucks and as and when appropriate. The DGPs of both the States are in touch and are coordinating the operation, the official said.

(With inputs from Tamil Nadu Bureau)

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