Jaipur: Around 50 cow vigilantes targeted officials of the Tamil Nadu government transporting cows from Jaisalmer to their state, pelted stones at a truck and blocked National Highway 15 on suspicion of cattle smuggling in Rajasthan’s Barmer district, police said today.
According to NDTV, the cows were being taken for a national cattle breeding programme, the ‘Rashtriya Gokul Mission’, which aims to preserve indigenous cattle breeds.
Four persons have been arrested and action against seven policemen including a police inspector has been taken for allegedly not taking the matter seriously and reaching the spot late Sunday night, a senior police official said.
Officials of the animal husbandry department of the Tamil Nadu government had purchased 50 cows and calves from Jaisalmer and were transporting them in five trucks with an NOC and all required papers and permission from the authorities and police when the cow vigilantes attacked them.
“The accused tried to beat the officials.They also tried to set a truck on fire but police reached the spot and prevented them. The officials, drivers and cleaners were rescued and taken to the local police station.
“In the meanwhile, several people gathered there and blocked National Highway 15, SP, Barmer, Gagandeep Singla told PTI.
The officials had purchased the cows of a good quality breed from different places in Jaisalmer.They had permission from the SDM and local police station to transport the cows.
“The accused pelted stones at the trucks and damaged one. The cows were rescued and taken to a local cow shelter for the time being,” he said.
A case against 50 persons has been registered for voluntarily causing hurt to deter a public servant from duty and for assault or criminal force to deter public servants from discharge of their duty and also under the National Highway Act.
“The officials informed the police station immediately and sought help but the policemen reached late. On this dereliction, the SHO of Sadar Police Station and six other policemen were shunted to police lines today,” he said.
SHO Jairam, Sub Inspector Dhruv Prasad, Assistant Sub Inspector Majid and two head constables and as many head constables were shunted to police lines, the SP said.
Last month, activists from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad were arrested after they set a truck carrying oxen on fire.
Reacting to the incident, the CPI(M) on Monday flayed the BJP for the incident, saying the ruling party’s “divisive” politics is detrimental to the country’s social fabric.
“BJP’s divisive politics, the environment of hate fostered by it and no governance, spells hell for our social fabric (sic),” CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said on Twitter.
In Chennai, the CPI Tamil Nadu unit today strongly condemned the attack and sought stern action against the vigilantes.
CPI Tamil Nadu unit secretary R. Mutharasan urged the state government to exert pressure on the Centre and the Rajasthan government to ensure legal action was taken against the vigilantes, who attacked the officials.
“The CPI state committee strongly condemns this attack,” Mutharasan said in a statement here.