Three men transporting buffaloes assaulted in south Delhi ‘in presence of police’

‘I have all papers, I do this for my family’

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi | Updated: April 24, 2017 6:42 am
south delhi, gau raksha group, buffaloes transport, cow vigilantes, People for Animals, pfa, men attacked in south delhi, Ghazipur mandi, Ghazipur mandi slaughterhouse, india news, latest news Ashu, Rizwan and Kamil at the Kalkaji Police Station, Delhi, Sunday. Express Photo by Mahender Singh Manral

Three men who were assaulted by vigilantes who intercepted their vehicle transporting buffaloes on a main South Delhi road on Saturday night, have claimed that they had all relevant documents, and were beaten in the presence of police. The men said their attackers were travelling in vehicles with stickers of a prominent animal welfare NGO, People for Animals (PFA), on them.

Police said they were called to the spot by a PFA officebearer named Gaurav Gupta. Gaurav Gupta, however, said the three men had been beaten up by people who had claimed to be from a “gau raksha group”, and not by his colleagues at the NGO.

PFA trustee Gauri Maulekhi said the NGO did not issue stickers for vehicles, and could not be held responsible for the actions of “lakhs of people” who were its members.

Later on Sunday, PFA disabled its web site, on which Gaurav Gupta and his brother Saurabh Gupta were identified as members of its Delhi unit.

The incident took place around 11.30 pm on Saturday, less than 100 metres from the local police station at Kalkaji in South Delhi. The vehicle that was intercepted was transporting buffaloes from Haryana’s Pataudi to Ghazipur in east Delhi. Police said two FIRs have been filed — one against the men transporting the animals; the other against unknown persons for assaulting them.

The men transporting the animals had been identified as Pataudi residents Rizwan (25) and Kamil (25), and Ashu (28) from Mathura, DCP (southeast) Romil Baaniya said. They were arrested under IPC section 429 (mischief by killing or maiming cattle) and provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act on the basis of a complaint by PFA members, Baaniya said. The men were released on bail on Sunday evening.

A case under IPC sections 323 (causing hurt) and 341 (wrongful restraint) was registered against unknown persons on the basis of a complaint filed by the driver, police said, adding that the animals and the vehicle have been seized.

“We received a call around 11.45 pm from one Gaurav Gupta, an animal rights activist and a PFA office bearer. Police reached the spot and found a tempo loaded with buffaloes parked on the road. Three occupants were taken to AIIMS Trauma Centre. We have conducted a medical examination and found that they received simple injuries on the face and lips. They have not been able to produce any legal documents. We will call Gupta and his associates for questioning,” Baaniya said.

The men, however, claimed they had all requisite documents. One of them, Ashu, told The Indian Express that they were taking the animals to a slaughterhouse in Ghazipur mandi when four cars intercepted them.

“We had just crossed the Nehru Place traffic signal when we saw some people in cars abusing us and asking us to stop. We were scared… they intercepted our tempo about 10 metres from Kalkaji temple. The cars had PFA stickers on them. About 12-15 people came out and started abusing us, asking us to get out of our vehicle. They started beating us; they didn’t want to hear anything we had to say. They punched and kicked us for about 10 minutes.”

Ashu, who has four daughters and two sons, added, “I have been working for the last six years, but this is the first time people have stopped and assaulted me. I have all documents; I do this job for my family.” Ashu, who suffered injuries to his face, broke down while narrating the incident.

Rizwan, who started working a month ago, said, “They alleged we were taking cows to slaughter. We tried to tell them we were transporting buffaloes but they didn’t want to listen. It was only when some passersby intervened that they stopped assaulting us. Later, two police personnel reached the spot but the men assaulted us in front of them as well. Eventually, they left the spot, and police took us away,” he alleged.

When contacted, Gaurav Gupta claimed he had been working with PFA for the past 15 years, but denied being involved in the assault.

“We received a call from our colleague, who told us she had come across a truck carrying cattle in poor condition, and that she was chasing the vehicle near Kalkaji. She later told us she had managed to intercept their vehicle. We reached within 20 minutes, but the three occupants had already been beaten up by some passersby who had claimed to be from a gau raksha group. Our colleague had made several PCR calls and we, too, informed police about the men being beaten up. We have asked police to go through CCTV footage to identify those who assaulted the men,” he said.

Later that same night, the PFA activists intercepted another truck carrying 14 buffaloes at another location in South Delhi. Additional DCP (South) Chinmoy Biswal told The Indian Express that Gaurav Gupta along with other members of the NGO had informed police around 3.30 am that they had intercepted a truck in the Kotla Mubarakpur area. No case was registered, however, Biswal said.

PFA trustee Maulekhi said, “The PFA does not issue any vehicle sticker and we can’t be moral guardians of lakhs of people who pay Rs 100 and become members of PFA. If they have done anything illegal they should be penalised.”

Maulekhi also released two separate letters she had issued to Gaurav Gupta and Saurabh Gupta, sons of Ashok Kumar Gupta, on February 6, 2016, warning them against taking the law in their hands. “You are not authorised to… seize any animal/goods from any individual”, says the letter to Gaurav Gupta. It warns that “any acts committed by you in contravention of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act… will be deemed to have been done in your personal capacity… People for Animals will not be liable for any actions that you commit in your personal capacity.”

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  1. S
    Suyash Gupta
    Apr 24, 2017 at 9:50 pm
    Very one sided article. But the people who call it terrorism are not equipped with knowledge regarding it. Editor, do you know the reality of factory farming? And an animal's life is as important as human's . s: Go though this link and then decide.
    1. T
      Apr 25, 2017 at 12:58 pm
      When buffalo slaughter is legal u shudnt blame article ..go complain to the government about making it legal.. And Even if it's illegal no body has the right to take law in hand's just like beating u up by anti Romeo squad when u are walking thru a pavement along with ur grown up daughter talking to her ,thinking it's Eve teasing .... And those who are beating u are not giving u a chance to clarify or say that that's ur daughter ... Sorry for that example I had to give , but I guess it's easy for u to understand it's seriousness
    2. K
      Kamal Pasha
      Apr 24, 2017 at 12:31 pm
      This country is going nuts.
      1. N
        Apr 24, 2017 at 10:58 am
        now this terrorism is happening in the capital of India...What a shame...If we dont do something now we will soon become stan or taliban.
        1. R
          Apr 24, 2017 at 10:14 am
          Its easy for the Top Legislature and Executive, to ban, than regulate. Please Regulate, Banning is not a long term solution, regulation is. would we get to a mode of regulation self (ideal) if not, state regulated. No bans ever worked, least in a democratic country as ours. Lets forget the word 'Ban' but think of an effective regulation.
          1. P
            Prashant Saxena
            Apr 24, 2017 at 9:32 am
            Killing "vigilantes" should be made legal and nonpunishable in India, only then these people will stop unwanted ault. In India, you can never expect police to help you in any case because they are already owned by local parties and gundaas. Very much disappointed with government and police.
            1. A
              Apr 24, 2017 at 10:34 am
              Well said.
              1. T
                Apr 25, 2017 at 1:03 pm
                Forming an anti aulting vigilantes which is equipped with people from all religion who oppose this cruelty wud be a solution .Dalits Muslims Christians and Hindus from any caste should join that group so that it shudnt be turn out to be a communal riot ..and they shud he trained to handle these goons .. Such days are not far ...
              2. A
                Apr 24, 2017 at 9:16 am
                Why can'tt these people leave the cattles alone & have a peaceful life
                1. V
                  Vijay A
                  Apr 24, 2017 at 9:09 am
                  Jungle raj at its height. If we continue this way, we will surely beat Afghanistan and Philippines in next few years. No one can do worst for a country than those who promote mob-culture, crumbling its well structured law-and-order system. Don't know when it has become legal for anybody to intercept anybody on the road. In Bangalore, even traffic police itself not allowed to intercept anybody on the road (for license check etc), how come it has become legal now in the rest of country for anybody to stop anybody.
                  1. J
                    Apr 24, 2017 at 8:57 am
                    "Ashu, who has four daughters and two sons.....".... fit case for forced nasbandi on this chap. Govt should implement forced sterilization on people with 3 or children. India, with limited resources and global climate change, cannot afford uncontrolled po tion.
                    1. N
                      noorul amin
                      Apr 24, 2017 at 9:40 am
                      R u a human
                      1. S
                        Suyash Gupta
                        Apr 24, 2017 at 9:51 pm
                        Do you have any idea about factory farming? s:
                      2. T
                        Apr 25, 2017 at 1:05 pm
                        Jo Jo ur company or ur dad doesn't pay him to look after his kids . .. It's better than leaving ur s PE RM in a latex and throwing out in a drainage to cause more pollution than this hope u dnt hve the issue of erectile dysfunction
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