The Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) Wednesday arrested one Irfan Rashidbhai Sheikh, a resident of Relief Road, under the Animal Preservation Act and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act for “escorting” the car, allegedly carrying two calves, which Mohammed Ayyub, 29, was driving. Ayyub, a resident of Vatva, was attacked by gau rakshaks and admitted to VS hospital where he died on September 16.
According to DCB officials, Irfan “confessed” during the interrogation that the two calves were being taken to a slaughterhouse.
Ayyub’s car was being chased by gau rakshaks on September 12, on the eve of Bakr-Eid, and crashed near Prahladnagar. Ayyub was allegedly caught and thrashed by gau rakshaks which led to his death four days later at V S hospital. The police, while lodging an FIR against the accused gau rakshaks, also registered an offence against Ayyub and Samir Shaikh, a resident of Relief Road, who was also traveling in the same car, for illegally carrying the calves.
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“Irfan was piloting the car being driven by accused (Ayyub and Samir)…he has confessed that the calves were loaded in the car at Chhapi in Sidhpur (Patan district) to be taken to a slaughterhouse,” a press release issued by the DCB stated. According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCB), Deepan Bhadran, “Irfan is the one who arranged the cow progeny from Chhapi and its transportation to the slaughterhouse.” He said that the investigation was on to identify the slaughterhouse and the supplier of the animals.
DCB officials said that it was Irfan, travelling in another car, who informed Ayyub that gau rakshaks were chasing his car. “Irfan was constantly updating Ayyub about the movement of gau rakshaks,” said another police officer involved in the investigation.
Meanwhile, DCB officials also arrested three persons for allegedly assaulting Ayyub for transporting calves. Four other accused identified by the DCB are still at large. Police said that the accused were “self-proclaimed gau rakshaks”. One of the main accused had been arrested earlier for allegedly killing a Dalit.
Those arrested have been identified as Dhaval Vijaybhai Bhatt, 27, a resident of Naroda Gam, Vikram Singh Bhati, 23, a native of Rajasthan, who now lives in Naroda Gam, and Alpesh Somabhai Rabari alias Apo, 20, a resident of Daskroi taluka of Ahmedabad district. While Bhatt is reportedly a daily wager, Bhati runs a tea stall and Rabari rears cattle. Bhatt was earlier booked for killing a Dalit and was released on bail.
According to DCB officials, the absconding accused are Vijay Bharwad, Aniket Shah, Dipak and Ajaysingh Bapu. They said it was possible that more people were involved in the incident. They said that the accused had gone to Adalaj toll tax plaza for tea on the night of September 12.
While they were having tea and snacks, they saw an Indigo. “There was a bulge in the boot of the car which raised suspicion of cows being transported for slaughter. The accused tried to stop the vehicle, but Ayyub did not pull over. Following this, the accused got into three cars and started chasing Ayyub’s car,” they said.
Officials said that at Prahladnagar, Ayyub hit an SUV, belonging to a private hotel, from behind. Following the accident, the accused found the calves stuffed in the boot of the car, they added. While Ayyub was assaulted, his co-passenger, Samir Sheikh, managed to escape and reach a police post.