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Nine booked under NSA

MANDSAUR, WHICH has been reeling under violent protests following sighting of about 57 slaughtered cows, returned to normalcy on Sunday morning after 19 persons were arrested. Of these nine were booked under National Security Act. Mandsaur District Collector Nitesh Vyas said curfew was lifted in the morning, as the situation was under control. Police hunt was on for 15 more accused, he added.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2007 14:46 IST

MANDSAUR, WHICH has been reeling under violent protests following sighting of about 57 slaughtered cows, returned to normalcy on Sunday morning after 19 persons were arrested. Of these nine were booked under National Security Act.
Mandsaur District Collector Nitesh Vyas said curfew was lifted in the morning, as the situation was under control. Police hunt was on for 15 more accused, he added.

Local residents woke up to a shock recently when parts of slaughtered cows were discovered from slate pencil quarries at Pittakhedi, a barren, remote area behind Devdungri and Bhuri hillock, situated 25 km away from Mandsaur.

It was reported that some villagers of Multanpura had slaughtered them around Bakrid (January 1). This sparked off public protests and people demanded immediate arrest of the accused saying that it was heinous crime in view of the nationwide ban on cow slaughter. Multanpura is an old habitation, where mostly members of minority community, who migrated from Multan (Pakistan) after Independence, live.

Although there had been sporadic incidents of cow slaughter in the area, the mass-scale butchering was reported for the first time.

About 83 cows were seized from Pittakhedi a day before Id. At the village sabha held at Multanoura on Sunday morning, villagers condemned the cow slaughter and said they would shun the accused. ‘‘We have suspended the arms licence of villagers and written to government for cancellation of lease of quarries,” Vyas told Hindustan Times over phone. He, however, denied that Bharatiya Jan Shakti leader Uma Bharti or Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan were visiting Mandsaur.

“There is no such information,” he added. Although the post mortem report of carcasses has arrived, police are maintaining a silence over the findings. “I haven’t gone through the report yet,” Mandsaur SP R K Chaudhary said. Police and district administration have come under scathing attack for not resorting to action despite receiving reports of cow slaughter earlier. This added to public anger.

A day after the carcasses were found, people took out protest marches at most places while Mandsaur, Daloda, Shamgarh, Akya, Suvasara observed bandh. During bandh, three motorcycles, buses and Maruti vans were torched. The protestors smashed glasses of tempos and auto rickshaws and even attempted to burn a shop at Samrat Market.

They submitted a memorandum to the District Collector demanding immediate arrest of the accused. Subsequently, violence spread to Malhargarh, Garoth, Sitamau, Pipaliyamandi and other areas as a result of which Section 144 was clamped.

Talking to reporters in Indore on Friday, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan had condemned the incident and said a high level inquiry would be instituted into the matter. He, however, dismissed the figure of 200 carcasses as an exaggeration. However, he added that the incident could be a conspiracy to disturb peace in the State.