Angry villagers set on fire as many as 16 trucks, which were part of a convoy of 25 trucks carrying 195 stray cattle from Chandigarh to Barsana Gaushala in Mathura, in Helimandi area of Pataudi near Gurgaon on Friday. Despite the fact that convoy was escorted by two ambulances and a team of para-medical staff, the locals mistook them as cattle smugglers and went on rampageattacked them after off-loading the animals.
Only seven of the 25 trucks reached safely at Barsana on Friday evening.
The irate villagers also thrashed the Chandigarh civic body staff accompanying the convoy. One employee suffered a fracture, while other was hospitalised for heart attack. He is being shifted to Chandigarh.
Instead of the direct route from Delhi, the convoy opted for a shortcut from Jhajjar-Pataudi-Gurgaon-Mathura. According to sources, the Gurgaon police did not arrange for safe passage of the convoy despite the fact that Jhajjar police had informed the former about its route.
According to DCP (South) Rahul Sharma said, "The vehicles had all requisite papers and were accompanied by six employees of Chandigarh municipal corporation and two teams of veterinary doctors. The trucks also had pasted 'On government duty' sticker on the front."
While the vehicles reached the Pataudi area, some anti-social elements spread rumours that cattle were being taken for slaughtering, as a result, mob went on rampage and started setting the trucks on fire.
Pataudi SDM Manoj Khatri and ACP Usha Kundu reached the spot and tried to pacify and convince the mob that the cattle were being taken to Barshana Gaushala and not for slaughtering.
Deputy Commissioner Shekhar Vidyarthi and commissioner of police Alok Mittal reached the spot and took stock of the situation. They called a meeting of municipal councillors and sarpanches of Pataudi area and appealed to them to maintain peace in the area.
The Pataudi and Farukhnagar police have booked 20 people for setting the vehicles on fire and the accused have been identified. Efforts were on to identify other miscreants as well.