The police on Saturday detained six people for the alleged lynching of a youth for smuggling cattle in Lavasa village of Sirmaur district.
The police gathered clues from photographs posted on social networking site which were later withdrawn and also a few photographs that were published in vernaculars. “The police teams gathered clues from the pictures on a website and six people have been rounded up. They are being questioned,” director general of police (DGP) Sanjay Kumar told HT.
Police sources say those rounded up have a criminal background. The police are yet to establish whether the attackers belonged to some Hindu right-wing organisation. “It seems that the matter is being blown out of proportion by a section of the media,” the DGP said.
The police have also sent a team to the native village of deceased, Noman, to verify his antecedents. The police had already registered a murder case against unidentified persons for lynching Noman. Security in Lavasa village has been beefed up and vehicles crossing the interstate border at Paonta Sahib are being checked, said Sirmaur superintendent of police (SP) Soumya Sambasivan.
Meanwhile, Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) state organisation secretary Manoj Kumar demanded that the police should initiate action against cattle smugglers. “The VHP had submitted memorandums to the authorities and had complained to the police about cattle smuggling in the state, but no avail,” he said.
“I had also taken up the issue of stray cattle with chief minister Virbhadra Singh and he had agreed to constitute a gau sanrakshan prakoshth. The Kangra police have lodged a first information report against cattle smugglers on my complaint three months ago, but no action has been initiated so far,” said Kumar. Instead of checking cattle smuggling, the police are threatening the activists involved in cow protection, he alleged.
Terming the lynching incident barbaric, president of All Himachal Muslim Welfare Society Naseem Mohammad Didan said: “The act of killing a person by a mob is inhuman and against the sprit secularism. The constitution of our country is supreme. No individual or any organisation can take law in their own hands.” He said Noman could have been saved if the police had shifted him to a hospital in Chandigarh or Shimla.
Meanwhile, Left leader and Shimla municipal corporation deputy mayor Tikender Singh Panwar blamed a right-wing organisation for lynching of the youth. In a release issued here on Saturday, he alleged: “Activists of the right-wing organisations killed the youth. Some people purchased cattle from Haryana and were transporting it to Uttar Pradesh, but they were attacked by activists of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in which Noman was killed.”
He said the BJP-led Union government had failed to deliver and was now trying to divert the people’s attention to such activities. “Himachal is a peaceful state and it’s unfortunate that the Union government is silent on such issues,” he added.
Injured shifted to Nahan hospital
Four persons arrested for cattle smuggling in Lavasa village of Sirmaur district were shifted from the Sarahan civil hospital to the regional hospital at Nahan. Nishu (37), Salman (20), Gulzar (22) and Gulfaam (24) were booked under laws prohibiting cow slaughter and cruelty to animals and the court remanded them in five-day police custody. All the four were seriously injured after being attacked by a mob.