In a late night operation, the Sangrur police Friday arrested six persons on charges of allegedly slaughtering stray cows.
The police found skeletons of over 30 cows buried under the verandah of the house where slaughtering used to be done and nearly three kg raw cow meat was stored in a refrigerator in the house. The suspects were booked under the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals Act.
Late Thursday night, a raid was conducted in the house of one 55-year-old Sattar Ali, who lived in Rampur Chhana village of Dhuri Block Sangrur district.
Members of Gau Raksha Dal, Punjab, had given a tip off to the police and they had reached the village around 1am on their own after giving information to police and it gave no chance to Sattar Ali and his family to run away. Heavy police force had been deployed in the area till evening as Hindu organisations — Vishva Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena nd even BJP unit in Sangrur had reached the village in large numbers.
Apart from Sattar Ali, his wife Mante, two sons Dilshad and Rinku (both in their 30s) were also arrested.
Two others who have been arrested are Mohammad Haleen and Khushi Mohammad from Malerkotla while the kingpin of this crime — Mohammad Saleem alias Kaka Khussewal and other eight persons involved with him are still at large, said SSP Sangrur, Pritpal Singh Thind.
According to the police, Mohammad Saleem was once booked and arrested for slaughtering cows and buffaloes in Joga in Mansa district in 2012 and he was out on bail. Out of the arrested persons, Dilshad was also involved in Joga cow slaughtering case, added SSP.
“Most of the persons involved in this crime are the ones who were involved in slaughtering of cows in Joga in 2012 and we are establishing the links,” the police said.
According to sources, Sattar Ali, who was living in a four kanal house in the village outskirts was working as a care-taker for about six villages including Rampur Chhana. He used to charge Rs 50 per acre to guard the fields of farmers from stray animals. Villagers were assuming that he was making the stray cows run from their fields to some other place but he was actually bringing them to his home to slaughter them. Ali used to charge Rs 30,000 per slaughter session from the persons who used to slaughter stray cows inside his house. Later, the flesh was loaded in tempos by keeping vegetables on top to cover the flesh properly. Women used to sit in front seats of tempos so as to present a family picture. According to the police, the flesh was being delivered to eating joints in and around Saharanpur.
Satish Kumar, President of Gau Raksha Dal, Punjab, who gave the lead in this case to Sangrur police, said, “He was telling the villagers that he was sending cows to gaushalas but my workers in this area observed that something fishy was going on and we kept a close eye on him and got proofs that cows were being slaughtered in his house.”
Police had even brought a JCB machine at the spot to dig open a kuccha venrandah from where 30 skeletons of dead cows were recovered. There was a hadda rori (place to burry dead animals) in front of Sattar Ali’s house and villagers assumed that place was stinking due to dead animals,” said Pardeep Kumar, General Secretary of BJP in Sangrur.