An alleged cow smuggler from Haryana died in a police encounter early on Thursday in Rajasthan’s Alwar, police said.
Alwar SP Rahul Prakash said: “Around 1.30-2 am on Thursday, Sigma police unit of Aravali Vihar police station saw cows being loaded on to a truck and informed the control room, describing the vehicle. When the police approached the men, they escaped, leaving some cows behind.”
The police set up pickets. However, the cattle smugglers fired at the pickets, the SP said.
“First, they fired at the mobile team between SMD Circle and Moti Doongri and then at the picket at Pratap Auditorium. There was another picket at an overbridge near Janta Colony. They (the smugglers) spotted the picket from a distance and fired. But the police team had been informed that the smugglers had been firing, so they retaliated. In that shootout, one person (among the smugglers) was killed while the others, about 5-7 people, escaped,” the SP said.
In Jaipur, Director-General of Police O P Galhotra said: “These were certainly cow smugglers.”
He said that “the criminals went through pickets at two places and fired at the police. These men used to gather stray cows (and load them in their vehicles) and it had been going on for some time. The police were on the lookout for them.”
Meo panchayat chief Sher Mohammad, who met the deceased’s uncle and brother who reached Alwar, said the man was 23-year-old Talim, a resident of Nuh in Haryana. Talim’s uncle Ilyas said the youth was a truck driver and was at home around 8.30 pm on Wednesday.
The SP said that the police found five cows in the Tata 407 truck and they were tied up and injured. A cow also succumbed to injuries soon after. A pistol and two live cartridges were found in the truck. Pankaj Kumar Singh, additional DG, CID, CB, said the vehicle had a Haryana number plate but is likely a stolen vehicle.
Ramzan Chaudhary, president of the All India Mewati Samaj, said: “Police claim the men fired at them. But has anyone among the police sustained any injury? Have they even suffered a scratch? We oppose the manner in which he (Talim) has been shot dead. Police claim that the men were cow smugglers. Even if we assume that they are correct, is this how justice will be delivered? That people are shot dead on the road?”
Referring to Satwant Singh, he said that “even Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s killer was apprehended alive and hanged to death as per law”.
The DGP said that since it was an encounter, the due guidelines set by the National Human Rights Council as well as the Supreme Court shall be followed.
A CID CB team reached Alwar on Thursday.