A 55-year-old man was shot dead while six of his associates were injured in Mathura district’s Tumaula village on Friday. The police alleged the men from Bulandshahr were cattle smugglers, and claimed they were attacked by the villagers for smuggling cows in their vehicle.
Following the incident, the police admitted the injured to a hospital, seized the vehicle, and recovered six cows.
The deceased was identified as Sher Khan alias Shera, a resident of Bulandshahr.
Agra Range’s Inspector-General Naveen Arora said the police had been deployed at the hospital. No one had been arrested so far in the two cases registered in connection with the violence, he added.
Arora said no weapons were recovered from the injured men, and added, “The police have recovered two cartridges from the vehicle in which the injured persons were moving. We are collecting their background details.”
Additional Superintendent of Police (Addl SP) Shrish Chandra said a preliminary inquiry revealed that early in the morning the residents of Jawa village came to know that a few cattle smugglers were transporting cows. They immediately alerted their neighbours in Tumaula.
The residents of Tumaula parked a vehicle in the middle of the road and forced the men transporting the cattle to stop, said Chandra. According to the police, the suspected cattle smugglers started firing and the villagers retaliated. A few minutes later, the villagers reportedly caught the men in the vehicle and started assaulting them with sticks and stones.
The police said they went to the spot after coming to know about the violence, and sent seven injured men, who were travelling in the vehicle, to the hospital.
At the facility, Sher Khan was declared dead on arrival. He is suspected to have been shot in the stomach. Chandra said his picture would be released after the autopsy. While four of the injured are in a critical state, the police said two were released from the hospital and were being interrogated.
Sher Khan’s son Sharukh alias Tittu filed a complaint against unidentified people at the Kosi Kalan police station, accusing them of murder, while a villager named Chandra Shekhar Baba filed a counter-complaint against at least nine people for attempted murder, and also called for the Cow Slaughter Act to be invoked. He identified three of the accused as Rehman, Shahzad and Anees. Five to six unidentified people have been also charged.
Chandra said the two men who were questioned told their interrogators that they were transporting the cows from Aligarh to Mewat in Haryana.
“We have come to know that a total of eight persons were present in the vehicle. It is suspected that one person escaped from the spot. During the search of the vehicle, the police recovered two cartridges,” added the Additional SP.
The police said two of those injured had a history of cattle smuggling. Mathura Circle Officer Jitendra Kumar also said that no one had been arrested in either case and probes were going on.