In a first in Maharashtra, arrests have been made for beef trade. The Azad Nagar police arrested two people for slaughtering cows and selling beef.
This comes a few days after the government banned beef trade in the state. The police station had registered a case against three people on Thursday after a raid on an isolated shed. Superintendent of police (Nashik Rural) Sanjay Mohite confirmed to HT that this was the first time in the state that arrests were made for selling beef.
The arrested accused have been identified as Hamid Lendi and Rashid Pandya. The third accused Asif Talathi is absconding, the police said.
The police were tipped off about the sale of beef in a village near the Azad Nagar police station, after which a team was formed under additional superintendent of police (Malegaon) Sunil Kadasane and senior police inspector MM Khan. The team raided the shed and found the remains of two calves and around 150kg of cow beef.
“A case under sections of 5 (c), which bans slaughter, and 9 (a), which imposes imprisonment up to one year, of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act was registered,” said Khan.
He said the three accused ran away before the raid was conducted, but two of them were tracked down later.
Officials said prima facie it appears the three got the beef to sell at a higher rate in order to profit from the ban.
Talathi has a few old cases of assault against him, the police said. “We suspect there could be more accused involved in the case and we are ascertaining where the accused got the beef from,” said additional SP Kadasane. The two accused were remanded in police custody for three days by a local court in Nashik on Friday.