Jhansi’s Mauranipur town grew tense Tuesday after 13 cows were found dead at a government grain market, triggering protests by Hindu outfits demanding arrests of those responsible. Police said they suspect the cows had died after consuming grains laced with pesticide.
Meanwhile, in Saharanpur, a cow died after two persons allegedly gave it poison in Sadar Kotwali police station area Tuesday afternoon. Police on Wednesday identified two suspects with help of CCTV footage, which shows two people riding off on a motorcycle and offering some food to the cow.
FIRs were lodged in connection with both incidents under IPC section 429 (mischief by killing or maiming cattle).
In Jhansi, a crowd gathered at the market after coming to know of the cow deaths. Hindu outfits protesting at the spot threatened to intensify their agitation if the accused are not nabbed within a week. Heavy police force was deployed at the spot.
On Wednesday, members of the Bajrang Dal and VHP held a meeting with officials at Mauranipur police station and demanded action in the matter. “We also gave suggestions to avoid such incidents like construction of a boundary wall around Galla Mandi (the market where the cows were found dead) and make arrangements to dispose off grain laced with insecticides. We also asked them to look into the role of security guards deployed near Galla Mandi,” said VHP’s Jhansi district president, Pankaj Gupta. He added, “Officials present in the meeting have promised to fulfil our demands in seven days.”
Circle Officer of Mauranipur area Devendra Singh, said, “Doctors who conducted the autopsies (of the cows) have preserved the viscera for further examination as the exact cause of death could not be ascertained. We suspect the animals died after consuming grains laced with insecticides dumped on the campus by the sellers.”
In Saharanpur, Sadar Kotwali police station SHO Ashok Solanki said that a retired government official, Ranveer Singh Rana, had filed a police complaint that he had kept his pet cow in an empty plot next to his house in Shivaji Nagar locality. He alleged that the cow’s condition suddenly deteriorated Tuesday afternoon and the animal died within hours. Singh’s complaint said he suspected the cow was poisoned.
Local residents gathered at the spot and demanded arrest of the accused, and dispersed only after police assured of action.
Circle Officer, Sadar area, Mukesh Chandra Mishra, said, “CCTV footage from the locality shows two persons riding a motorcycle to the spot and offering some substance to the cow a few minutes before the animal died.”
“We have identified both the miscreants and they will be arrested soon. An autopsy has been conducted and doctors have preserved viscera for further examination. Doctors suspect the animal died of poisoning,” added Mishra.