Days before Delhi goes to polls, two cow carcasses were found near East Delhi’s Sanjay Gandhi lake, prompting Delhi Police to deploy around 70 personnel in Trilokpuri’s Kotla village Wednesday.
A PCR call about severed parts of two cows strewn across the ground next to the lake was made around 6.30 am. “It’s a sensitive situation. Things were under control by 9.30 am. Around 70 police personnel have been deployed. We are alert and patrolling is on,” said DCP (East) Jasmeet Singh.
A case under IPC section 429 (mischief by killing or maiming cattle) and Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act has been registered against unknown persons at Pandav Nagar police station.
The cows belonged to dairy owner Rai Singh (55), who last counted his cattle at 11.30 pm Tuesday. “All 15 cows were in the cowshed at night. When I woke up at 3.50 am, a log which works as a stopper at the shed’s entrance was removed, and the shed was open. I saw two cows were missing. I raised an alarm and began looking. One was pregnant and due to deliver next month. I saw their carcasses at Sanjay Gandhi lake and called police,” said Singh.
For over six decades, his family has been in the dairy business. “I don’t know who’s done this. I don’t suspect anyone from another community… A neighbour could be behind this, as he has issues with us using the plot as a shed,” said Rajesh Devi (50), Singh’s wife. No one is named in the complaint, police said.
Trilokpuri is a resettlement colony which came up in 1976 after Sanjay Gandhi’s slum-clearance drive during the Emergency.
Muslims, Valmikis and Sikhs inhabit the area, and over 400 people died there during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. In 2014, communal fires were stoked again when a riot broke out, and since then Trilokpuri has occasionally simmered over rumours, petty issues and during festivals.
In 2017 and 2018, several instances of stone-pelting between two communities were reported from Trilokpuri. “We have learnt from the past and decided to douse rumours before they spread. Police presence ensured there was no possibility of violence between two communities,” said Singh.
At the village market opposite the lake, Harun Gory, who runs an e-rickshaw business, said: “Things could have escalated but it thankfully didn’t. This is just mischief to turn Kotla village into Block 27 of Trilokpuri, where communal incidents usually take place,” he said. Shopkeeper Tushar Goel said, “It hurts to see our religion being insulted… no one knows who’s behind this.”