The Alwar police is investigating an alleged case of cow vigilantism and cow smuggling after a deserted pickup with bovines was found in the district Friday morning, while a body, said to be of one of the three persons who were inside the pickup, was found by the railway tracks about 15 kilometres from the pickup, police said Sunday.
“Not much is clear at this moment. A vehicle belonging to cattle smugglers was found abandoned at about 6 am on Friday under the jurisdiction of Alwar’s Govindgarh police station,” Alwar SP Rahul Prakash said.
An FIR was lodged under The Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act, against the alleged cow smugglers on Friday and the vehicle sent to Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), the SP said.
Circle Officer, Alwar South, Anil Beniwal said that “the pickup had three cows and three calves – one of the cows was dead. The front two tyres were missing and both rear tyres were punctured. Later, a dead body was also found about 15 kilometres away in Ramgarh area by the railway tracks. His relatives identified him as Umar, aged about 35 years, and hailing from Bharatpur.”
The SP said that “The motive cannot be ascertained at this point, the two incidents could be related or not; it is a part of investigation whether he was in the vehicle or not.” He said that Umar’s relatives had initially declined a post-mortem until the assaulters were caught. “We are sending his body to Jaipur for a post-mortem and will proceed accordingly,” the SP said.
Alwar’s Meo Panchayat chief Sher Mohammad alleged that the cow vigilantes killed Umar and then threw his body at the railway tracks to make it look like an accident. As per the CO, a second FIR was lodged Sunday under IPC section 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) following a complaint by Umar’s family members.
According to Umar’s relatives, there were two others with him at the time of assault. Shaukat, sarpanch of Ghatmika village in Bharatpur’s Pahadi panchayat samiti, said that “there were Tahir and Javed with Umar at the time of the assault. All three hail from our village.”
Umar’s uncle Ilyas told The Indian Express that “Javed was the only one who managed to escape. He recounted to me that they were attacked by gunmen. He said he barely managed to escape and that he doesn’t know about the fate of the other two.” CO Beniwal, however, said that “prima facie, no bullet marks were found on the pickup or on the body.”
Ilyas said, “So we inquired about Umar and came to know that a body had been found by Alwar police. Tahir, meanwhile, sustained injuries and is being treated at a hospital in Haryana.”
The SP too said that “he (Tahir) is said to be admitted in a hospital Haryana, we are still in the process of locating him and taking his statement.
On April 1 this year, 55 year old dairy farmer Pehlu Khan from Haryana was assaulted by cow vigilantes on National Highway 8; he succumbed to his injuries two days later.