Five migrant workers were detained for allegedly slaughtering a cow at Manubankul village in Sabroom of Tripura’s south district, 130 km from Agartala on Thursday. They were detained in the face of severe protest from a group of local people led by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).
Speaking to indianexpress.com this evening, south Tripura Superintendent of Police Jal Singh Meena said that Mohammad Suman Ali (20), Mohammad Farzul Haque (47), Mohammad Saiful Islam (42), Abdul Zalil (45) and Md. Zainuddin (42) — all residents of Assam’s Kampur village — were detained from Manubankul area in Sabroom last evening after they allegedly slaughtered a cow at a nearby rubber plantation.
“They slaughtered the cow, hiding from the public. But somehow local people got to know and an angry group of people was holding them up and were about to assault them. We had to detain them and bring them away. They were produced before a local court where the judge released them on bail,” the SP said.
VHP’s south Tripura district president Biplab Sen confirmed that a cow was slaughtered at a local brick kiln by a few migrant workers. However, he claimed two of the five accused persons were Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.
“We had reports of similar incidents of cow slaughter in the brick field previously. We got the information and succeeded in intercepting them red-handed this time. Unfortunately, the cow was killed by the time our boys reached there,” Sen said.
He also said that VHP, Bajrang Dal and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) have convened a meeting on Friday last week on the issue, and decided to submit a memorandum to the local administration, saying “stern steps” would be taken unless cow slaughter was not immediately stopped.
A group of veterinary doctors conducted post-mortem examination on the slain animal and it was cremated after performing all rituals, the VHP leader informed.
Earlier in April, a group of Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists staged a protest at Arundhati Nagar and Agartala against cow slaughter. VHP and Bajrang Dal supporters said during the protest that they would ‘respond’ through ‘massive agitation’ if the practice didn’t stop immediately.
Cow slaughter is not entirely illegal in Tripura. However, the five migrant workers were detained in south Tripura under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which refers to mischief by killing or maiming cattle of any value or any animal of value above Rs 50.