A gang of cow vigilantes, members of a local cow protection group, attacked drivers of four trucks carrying cattle near Kherki Daula toll on Delhi-Gurgaon expressway on Friday.
According to the police, the vigilantes received information on Wednesday that cows were being smuggled in trucks from Kotputli in Rajasthan to Delhi. They collected specifics of the trucks, on the basis of which they signalled the drivers to stop vehicles near Manesar, 17 km from Gurgaon, but the drivers sped away.
“When the vehicles stopped at Kherki Daula toll plaza, a group of about 10 cow vigilantes allegedly assaulted four truck drivers and one Suva Lal, who is the owner of the cattle. They could not find cows in the trucks, but buffaloes were found packed inside in a bad condition,” said assistant sub-inspector Dharmender Suhag, investigating officer.
Police reached the spot as one of the victims managed to dial police control room number. They booked the truck drivers and Suva Lal for animal cruelty under Prevention of Cruelty against Animals Act as they did not have valid license for cattle transportation. However, no case has been lodged against the vigilantes so far.
“We have not received any complaint against the alleged attackers so far. Action will be initiated if a complaint is lodged,” said Suhag, adding that the drivers and the cattle owner were released on bail from a court and the cattle were sent to a local shelter run by People for Animals. Of the 133 buffaloes, four had died of asphyxiation.
Suhag said there was initial information that one of the truck occupants was hospitalised, but they could not find any such person in local hospitals.
Dharmender Yadav, president Gurugram Gau Raksha Dal, said cow protection volunteers usually call the police on receiving specific information, but if there is no response they go ahead and check cattle smugglers.