A Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) and some policemen suffered injuries in stone-throwing by a mob that had gathered on hearing rumours that cows were being taken for slaughter in three vehicles. Some residents were reportedly injured when police used force to disperse the crowd. The incident was reported at Bengabad police station in Jharkhand’s Giridih district on Sunday.
Police said they had registered three FIRs under on charges of rioting and hurting religious sentiments, among others, in connection with the incident.
At least 20 people have been booked. In one of the FIRs, cow owners have been charged for cruelty on animals. No arrests have been made.
Giridih SP Akhilesh B Verior said: “It was a case of vigilantism. People stopped vehicles and resorted to violence.”
Police said three trucks carrying cattle were stopped. “One person got a photograph of a calf’s head in the truck and circulated it. Police reached the spot and found that it was part of a tradition, where a dead calf’s skin, stuffed with hay, is kept before the cow so that it doesn’t feel the loss of its calf and keeps giving milk,” said SDPO Manish Toppo, said. While BJP MLA J P Verma accused police was using force, officials said minimum force was used.