The district police have arrested eight people for allegedly slaughtering stray cows after the police recovered 18 carcasses of cows during a raid at the ‘hadda rodi’ (animal dumping ground) in Bilaspur village of Nihal Singh Wala, about 35 km from here, on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday.
The incident came to light after the Nihal Singh Wala police, accompanied by Sandeep Kumar, president of the district Gau Rakhya Dal, conducted a raid at the ground at around 11pm on Monday and found the butchers slaughtering the cows.
After arresting eight people, including four butchers and four suppliers in a 10-hour-long operation, the police have registered a case against 16 people, including 5 unidentified persons, under Section 4 of the Punjab Prohibition of the Cow Slaughter Act, Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the Nihal Singh Wala police station.
The arrested have been identified as Juber Dausre, Salim Khan, Mohammad Usman of Qutub Sher, Abdulah of Gango, Paramjit Singh of Thraj village, Lakhvir Singh of Kalyan Sukha village, Banta of Donk village and Mangal Singh of Kotla Mehar Singh Wala village. While, three absconders are Nayam, Nawab and Mohison.
Sources said that Paramjit Singh is known to be the main conspirator who, along with his accomplices, used to supply stray cattle to the butchers after collecting them from roads.
Following the incident, the whole Nihal Singh Wala town, including shops and other establishments, were shut down in sorrow and a heavy police force was deployed.
However, the situation is peaceful as of now.
Gurpreet Singh Toor, senior superintendent of police (SSP), also visited the spot on Tuesday morning to assess the situation.
The carcasses of cows were buried with the help of villagers at the ‘hadda rodi’ ground in the morning after post-mortem.
Sandeep Kumar said that they had got a tip-off that some people are involved in cow-slaughtering at Bilaspur village and when they found some people unloading cows from a truck, they immediately called the police and their Dal teams from Ludhiana, Patran and Sirhind.
“One of the accused revealed to the police that they had to slaughter about 80 cows to sell in other states,” he said.
The Dal members also rescued about 39 cows, which were kept for slaughtering at an isolated place in Thraj village.
Surinder Kumar, deputy superintendent of police (DSP), Nihal Singh Wala, said that they have arrested eight people while other accused persons will be arrested soon.
“A heavy police force has been deployed in the town to maintain peace,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kimti Lal Bhagat, chairman of the Punjab Gau Sewa Commission, also visited the spot and condemned the incident. He also asked police authorities to keep vigil at the ‘hadda rodi’ grounds in all the areas to avoid such incidents in future.