Rajasthan police said on Monday that in a shootout with alleged cow smugglers a 40-year-old Haryana resident, identified as Umar, was arrested in Alwar. The police said three of Umar’s companions escaped.
“About 4.30 am on Monday, a police party tried to stop a truck at the Gadpur turn. The police were fired upon. The smugglers fired two rounds at the Quick Response Team and the police fired five rounds in return,” Chaupanki station house officer Sunil Jangid said.
“Usually the smugglers fire in the air in a bid to scare the police, but perhaps the ones we faced knew that a smuggler, Tahir, was killed in Alwar less than a week ago. So when pursued by the police, they abandoned the vehicle,” a police source said. “Umar fell into a gaddha (a ditch) and was surrounded by policemen. We rushed to nab him as the smugglers were armed, so we did not wish to get shot at,” said another policeman.
Umar is from Palla village in Haryana’s Nuh district and the truck was headed to Haryana when it was intercepted, the police said. Chaupanki police station is in Bhiwadi and borders Haryana. Gadpur is around 3 km from the Haryana border.
The police said they found 13 cows in the truck, “which had their mouths and legs tied”. They were handed over to a cowshed nearby. The police also retrieved about 20 litres of country made liquor from a jerrycan in the truck as well as the shell of a .315-bore bullet, which was allegedly fired at the police.
Umar and his accomplices — identified as Tahir, Haroon, and Zubair — have been booked under IPC sections 307 (attempt to murder), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) as well as sections 3 (prohibition of slaughter of bovine animal), 5 (prohibition of export of bovine animal for the purpose of slaughter) and 8 (penalty for contravening/attempt to contravene sections 3 and 5) of the Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act.
They have also been booked under section 54 (penalty for unlawful transport, possession etc.) of the Rajasthan Excise Act and section 25 (punishment for certain offences) of the Arms Act.
A police officer said Umar told them the cattle was bought for Rs 10,000 and was being taken to be sold in Haryana at a marked up rate.
On December 7, 23-year-old Talim, from Nuh in Haryana, was killed in a police encounter while his accomplices managed to flee.
Alwar SP Rahul Prakash said that about 6-7 such shootouts have taken place in Alwar a month.