Next to the village of Jharoda Kalan, located on the Delhi-Haryana border, a 31-year-old daily wage labourer living in a makeshift tent witnessed a frightening incident on Friday evening. At least six pick-up trucks with their windshields shattered, allegedly carrying buffalo calves, had been surrounded by a mob. “Bricks were being pelted and there were people, mostly from neighbouring villages, hurling abuses. We thought a riot is about to break out. We were scared and stayed inside the whole night,” said the labourer, who hails from Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh.
At 8.53 pm on Friday, Baba Hari Das Nagar police station received a call that “a fight had broken out” around 2 km away, Raj Kumar, SHO of the police station, said. The call was made by Mohammad Raees, who told police that vehicles carrying buffaloes had been stopped. An eyewitness to the incident, Raees, who was in one of the six vehicles that were attacked, claimed they were transporting buffaloes from parts of Uttar Pradesh to Ghazipur in Delhi.
“They kept abusing us. When we tried to explain that we had all necessary papers for transporting buffaloes, no one listened to us. We were scared for our lives and we ran to the fields. That is when we called police. By the time police arrived, the attackers had fled,” Raees said. Police said an FIR has been registered against unknown persons under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 379 (theft), 427 and 34.
Those who were allegedly assaulted have been identified as Ali Jaan (40), his two sons Shokeen (26) and Dilshan (22), his brother Salim (25) and two others, Saif Ali (15) and Kaala (32), police said. DCP (outer Delhi) M N Tiwari said, “A complaint was received from one of the victims, Shokeen, who works as a driver of a Bolero pick-up vehicle.” In his complaint, Shokeen said he has been transporting buffalo calves for close to two years.
“On Friday night, we were heading towards Ghazipur mandi after picking up calves from Haryana. Near Geetanjali Colony bridge, three-four young men stopped us and started arguing. They opened the rear door of the vehicle and let the calves out. They assaulted me and my brothers… When someone called PCR, they damaged the windshields of the vehicles,” he said in the complaint. DCP Tiwari said, “Three persons who sustained minor injuries were medically examined and later discharged from the hospital. The investigation is underway.”