Police and locals saved 16 cows and bulls, which were reportedly being taken for slaughter when they intercepted a truck on the Gholia-Moga road at Charik village in the district on Tuesday. The occupants of the truck fled the spot after leaving the vehicle.
Angry over the incident, people gathered at Charik and vent their ire on the truck. They threatened to start an agitation if the state government failed to save lives of animals. A few months back, locals had rescued more than 100 animals from trucks but police could not catch the culprits.
Assistant sub-inspector of Charil police station, Tara Singh said the cattle were hidden behind 60 onion bags loaded the truck. He added that the animals were being taken out of Punjab for slaughter when police got a tip-off about it.
The police have sealed all the link roads and are looking for the culprits. "The rescued animals are in a bad shape. After the preliminary investigation, police found that the truck was registered in Uttar Pradesh and we have received some clues about the culprits," the ASI said.
The police have registered a case under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Further investigation is on, they said.