In an early morning operation, Amreli police intercepted 13 trucks ferrying 103 buffaloes while they were crossing Lathi town and booked their drivers for subjecting the animals to cruelty on Tuesday.
Acting on a tip-off, the Local Crime Branch (LCB) of Amreli district police and Lathi police intercepted the 13 trucks covered with tarpaulin sheets at railway crossing in Lathi town at 3:30 am.
During inspection, police found the trucks were transporting 100 buffaloes and three buffalo calves. “The truck drivers had permission from regional transport office (RTO) to ferry domestic animals. However, the drivers committed offence under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 by stuffing more buffaloes in trucks than permitted, tied to them in a manner as would not allow the animals to move and by also not providing with water and fodder,” Lathi police sub-inspector Manoj Ausura said.
After detaining the trucks, police ordered the drivers to drive their vehicles to a panjarapole (a charitable animal shelter) on Amreli-Kukavav road near Amreli and handed over the buffaloes to its management.
“The truck drivers said that they were transporting the buffaloes to Nandasan village of Kadi taluka in Mehsana district. They are claiming that they were taking the animals to Nandasan and intended to sell them at a fair which is organised there. But we suspect that they might be taking the animals to slaughterhouses from there,” Ausura, who is investigating the case, further said. Police said that three trucks had loaded buffaloes from Chital village, some 10 kilometres away from Amreli town while the remaining 10 were loaded from Amreli town itself. “We are searching for the owners of the trucks to know the legal owner of these buffaloes,” the PSI said.
All the truck drivers were booked for subjecting the buffaloes to cruelty and arrested. If convicted under this Section, a person can face jail term of up to three years and monetary fine up to Rs 1,000.
Of the arrested drivers, 12 hail from Amreli district while one is resident of Jetpur taluka of neighbouring Rajkot district. Police have seized the 13 trucks worth Rs 78 lakh and buffaloes valued Rs 40.15 lakh and further probe is on.