Tension escalated in Chamba on Wednesday as activists of various Hindu outfits and the Beopar Mandal held a demonstration in the hill-town to protest against an alleged incident of cow slaughter.
The incident took place last Sunday in remote Renaula village of the district after which the police had arrested three people Safi Mohammad, Isrile and Raj Bali on the complaint of one Gulam Nabi.
Activists of the Hindu organisations and locals gathered at the premises of ancient Luxmi-Narayan temple and took out a rally in the town demanding strict action against the people involved in the incident.
They also cautioned the police to carry out transparent investigation into the case and make the findings public.
The Chamba Beopar Mandal also gave a call to observe bandh in the town on Thursday.
Sources said that a few miscreants had set fire to the fodder near the houses of the accused. Deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Vir Bahadur Singh said sufficient security has been put in place in Renaula village to avoid any untoward incident.
Meanwhile, the VHP hit back at Himachal Pradesh director general of police (DGP) Sanjay Kumar, who had on Tuesday alleged that a few organisations were trying to create communal tension in Chamba.
Addressing a press conference in Dharamshala, VHP state organising secretary Manoj Kumar said that if creating awareness among the people against cow is a crime they would commit it again and again.
“It is not VHP or Hindu organisations that are creating communal tension but the DGP, who is trying to downplay the incident,” alleged Kumar.
The cow slaughter incident in Chamba, the VHP leader said, came to the fore after a fight broke out among the people of a particular community over the cow liver.
He doubted that the police would try to suppress the case by shows the cow flesh, sent to the forensic lab in Dharamshala, as that of a horse or a donkey.
“A community in Chamba is involved in cattle smuggling and cow slaughter,” said Kumar.
When we raised the Love Jihad issue last year, Kumar said, the VHP submitted a list of 182 missing girls with the state police. “However, the GDP is now negating the fact,” said Kumar, adding that even the police failed in finding the culprits, who wrote pro-Pakistan slogans in an under-construction building in Nerchowk of Mandi district, a year ago.
The intelligence network of the police, Kumar said, was a total failure as they don’t have information of Bangladeshi nationals living in the state.
He said that the chief minister wanted to take action, but the police administration misled him on such sensitive issues.
The VHP leader demanded capital punishment for crime of cow slaughter and life imprisonment to those involved in cattle smuggling and seizure of their property.