The Amritsar-based BP Oil Traders, a 40-year-old firm supplying buffalo tallow to soap manufacturing units, seems to have come under the radar of cow protection groups in Punjab.
In the last 10 months, police, along the route from Dera Bassi in Mohali to Amritsar, have seized six of the company’s tankers on the basis of complaints from cow protection groups.
“The cow protection groups have accused the company of mixing cow tallow with buffalo tallow,” said a police officer.
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SHO Khanna Bhupinder Singh, SHO Rupnagar Pawan Kumar and SHO Samrala Ashawani Kumar confirmed that all complaints were made by Gau Raksha Dal (GRD).
They, however, said so far no sample from the tankers of BP Oil Traders has tested positive for cow tallow.
According to a company official, each such tanker was carrying goods worth Rs 4.50 lakh and Rs 35,000 was paid to the government as tax on each tanker. The firm claimed to have faced financial losses and damage to its reputation in the market.
Rajeev Arora, manager B P Oil Traders, said, “Our tankers remain in custody of police for months now. Our drivers were beaten up by members of cow protection groups. These groups are politically powerful and police never listen to us and prefer to seize trucks. Then starts rounds of courts and police station.”
“We are not alone in this. Soap factories too have been bearing losses and one such factory closed down in Amritsar last year due to threats from cow protection groups. All traders and soap factory owners are Hindus,” said Arora.
“In the 40 years that we have been in business, we never faced any problems till the last one year. Political shelter has suddenly increased the activism of cow protection groups.”
According to one police FIR, a tanker was impounded after Nixin Kumar, on behalf of the Gau Raksha Dal, submitted that he doubted whether the tanker was actually carrying buffalo tallow. The police then booked the tanker owner in the case.
Another FIR from Dera Bassi police station read that a tanker had the picture of a Hindu God in its cabin.
GRD state president Nixin Kumar alleged that police do not investigate properly and that was why most tankers were left off the hook soon after.