Members of a stray cattle impounding squad of Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) were beaten up and held captive for over two hours by a mob of cattle rearers in Amroli area of the city on Wednesday evening after they had impounded a cow that had run amok on the streets.
According to the police, people climbed atop the civic body’s vehicle after the squad members locked themselves for safety, and hit it with sticks, chanting slogans as they demanded the release of the cow. Police, which came in after an hour, had to call in reinforcements to rescue the municipal officials.
In an application submitted to the police, Harshad Kerode, Assistant Sanitary Supervisor in SMC, stated that one Teja Rabari led a mob and held the SMC officials captive in their vehicle and stopped them from doing their job of impounding stray cattle. Kerode, who sent a copy of the application to Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma on Thursday, demanded strict criminal action against those identified in the attack.
According to Kerode, they had received a wireless message from the SMC control room that a cow was on a rampage, damaging shops and attacking people in Chhaprabhata area of Amroli, Surat, on Wednesday evening. When Kerode and members from the cattle impounding squad reached the spot and caught the cow, they came under attack from Teja Rabari, a local resident, and his men. Seeing the situation turning dangerous, the officials got inside their vehicle and locked themselves up.
“This is the sixth incident of attacks on the SMC cattle catching squad in Surat city since January this year. We feared for our lives as the mob had surrounded our vehicle and started hitting it with sticks. Some of the people in the mob called for setting fire to the vehicle. We felt that this time we will not be freed and will be killed,” Kerode told The Indian Express.
“We have handed an application to Amroli police and they have started the process of registering offence against Rabari and others,” he added.
Amroli Police Inspector G A Patel said, “We have started the procedure of registering offence against Teja Rabari and others for stopping government officials from performing their duty, attacking the government officials and their vehicles and inciting the mob. Once the complaints are registered, we will start further procedure.”