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Not cow but buffalo, say cops day after two held for ‘cow slaughter’, search for three accused on

On Sunday, two men were arrested for allegedly violating the State's cow protection law in Malaut town of Muktsar following protests by members of a group called Sri Shram Mitr Mandal- Bhartiya Gau Kranti Dal.

Written by Raakhi Jagga , Man Aman Chhina | Ludhiana/chandigarh |
August 2, 2016 5:06:09 am
cow protection, gau rakshaks, punjab cow slaughters, cow slaughters, dalit bjp, dalits punjab, punjab government, punjab police, punjab news A protest in Muktsar district. Express Archive

A day after the arrest of two Dalits for allegedly slaughtering a cow that the police later said was a buffalo, a senior member of the Punjab state BJP sought to distance the party from cow vigilante groups. On Sunday, two men were arrested for allegedly violating the State’s cow protection law in Malaut town of Muktsar following protests by members of a group called Sri Shram Mitr Mandal- Bhartiya Gau Kranti Dal.

The police confirmed on Monday that the animal was a buffalo but are still looking for three others booked in the case. The five Dalits had been called on Saturday by residents of Amrudan Wala Bagh to dispose of a dead buffalo that had got electrocuted in the electrified fencing of an orchard and was stuck in the barbed wire. The carcass had started spreading a foul smell.

Pankaj Bansal, who lodged the FIR, alleged the men were cutting and skinning the animal right there. Bansal is BJP member and Ravinder Mittal, President of the group is vice-president of Muktsar district BJP unit. Most of its members are BJP members, Bansal said.

Subhash Kumar, an acquaintance of Ramesh, one of the arrested men, said all five were employees of a licensed contractor for picking up carcasses from roads and gaushalas. There were five other cattle carcasses in their tempo and each one of them had been picked up from the road. Subhash said the men had no choice but to cut the buffalo in order to free its body from the barbed wire.

BJP state secretary Vineet Joshi told The Indian Express that the party could not be held responsible for actions of individuals acting in their “personal capacity”.

He also said: “We do not accept that any of our party members would do any such thing regardless of such claims.” Joshi also said the party wanted stronger laws for cow protection but was not linked to any cow vigilante group that went about threatening people or brandishing weapons against them.

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