Rumors of cow slaughter led to violence in Mainpuri with a mob of villagers torching police jeeps and attacking forces in Karhal area on Friday.
Police fired rubber bullets and resorted to lathicharge to control the mob. The government has suspended the circle officer of Karhal, Sunil Kumar, for alleged inefficiency in handling the matter.
Mainpuri SP Rakesh Shankar said the incident took place when locals came to know that two Muslim youths in Karhal town have slaughtered a cow. They reached the residence of the two youths — Rafeeq and Habib — and found them skinning a dead cow.
The angry mob started beating up the youths. Soon after, a police team arrived after being informed by a local, added Shankar.
As the policemen rescued the youths and took them to the police station, the villagers attacked the police personnel with stones. Two police jeeps and a constable’s motorcycle were torched. Additional police forces were rushed to the spot, which used rubber bullets and lathicharge to bring the situation under control, the SP said.
“We got a postmortem of the cow done and the report has confirmed that the animal died due to some disease about 24 hours ago,” he added.
Rafeeq and Habib, however, have been arrested under Prevention of cruelty to Animal Act. Police have also detained 20 other youths on charges of violence, said Shankar.
ADG (Law & Order) Daljit Singh Chaudhary said: “The circle officer has been suspended as he could not control a group of 10 to 15 villagers, which later became a mob. The incident began at 10 am and situation could be controlled around 3 pm, when senior officers, including the Agra Range DIG, reached the spot.”
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Yadav said attempts were being made to vitiate atmosphere in Karhal.
“Today, attempts are being made in Karhal to vitiate communal atmosphere. We are ensuring arrest of those involved in the incident,” he said. Yadav added that SP was fighting communal forces for a long time and would continue doing so.