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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Vigilante shot at by suspected cow smugglers in Gurugram’s Sector 10

The incident took place around 3am on Thursday, when the victim and other volunteers allegedly spotted a white Mahindra Bolero pick-up truck, in which cows were being ferried, near a checkpoint in Bhondsi.

gurugram Updated: Oct 11, 2019 04:53 IST
Alind Chauhan
Alind Chauhan
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Members of vigilante group protest against police outside police station in Gurugram.
Members of vigilante group protest against police outside police station in Gurugram. (HT Photos)
         

A 26-year-old man, member of a cow protection group, was shot at when he and three other volunteers were chasing suspected cow smugglers in Sector 10 on Thursday. Police said that the man sustained a gunshot wound to his chest and is undergoing treatment at Medanta Hospital in Sector 38.

Mohit alias Monu, the victim, a resident of Manesar, identifies himself as a cow vigilante, the police said. He is also the district convener of Bajrang Dal.

According to the police, the chase lasted for around 40 minutes.

The incident took place around 3am on Thursday, when the victim and other volunteers allegedly spotted a white Mahindra Bolero pick-up truck, in which cows were being ferried, near a checkpoint in Bhondsi. There were allegedly six men travelling in the vehicle — three in the front and the others in the cargo section.

In the police complaint, Manoj alias Mangal, who was part of the chase, said they signalled to the truck driver to stop but he did not. When they started chasing the vehicle in their Mahindra Bolero Camper, the truck driver took a U-turn just before the checkpoint and went towards Gurugram.

He added that when they caught up with the truck, one of the accused allegedly pushed out a cow in front of their SUV to throw them off track. “When the smugglers approached Badshahpur, they threw two more cows out and went towards Jharsa village, through Vatika Chowk. They then drove towards Bakhtawar Chowk, where they pushed out another cow in front of our vehicle, but we did not stop. They turned their vehicle towards Beriwala Bagh and went to Shakti Nagar, where they threw a spare tyre at us,” Manoj said in the first information report (FIR).

According to the police complaint, the suspects then went towards Kadipur village in Sector 10, through Pataudi Chowk and stopped in front of a government school. “The man sitting on the front seat beside the driver brandished a countrymade gun and then the driver shot at Monu, who was on the driver’s seat,” Manoj said.

Manoj alleged that he tried to contact the police by dialling the helpline while they were travelling on the Golf Course Road, but he did not get a response. “I must have tried at least 15 times to get in touch with the police. The suspects even broke through a checkpoint on the highway, near Medanta Hospital. After 40 minutes, when we reached Rajiv Chowk, I was able to contact the officials of Sector 10 police station. While I was talking to them, one of the smugglers shot at Monu with his gun.”

Rajiv Deswal, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), crime, denied the claim and said that the police were right behind the vehicles and chasing them. “The vehicles must have covered around 25 kilometres across the city during the chase. The pick-up truck was recovered from Tauru in Nuh. The police were chasing them and that is why we were able to recover the vehicle. We will soon arrest the suspects,” he said.

In a video of the incident, which was widely circulated on social media, the pick-up truck can be seen breaking barriers placed at a checkpoint. The police have identified the suspects as Anjum, Liyaqat, Kayum, Ishatyaq, Dilshad, all of Hussainpur village in Mewat. One more accomplice is yet to be identified, the police said.

A case was registered against them under sections 279 (rash driving), 336 (endangering life or personal safety of others), 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), relevant sections of the Arms Act and sections 5/13 (2), 17 of Haryana Gau Sanrakshan (HGS) and Gau Samwardhan (GS) Act at Sector 10 police station on Thursday.

“Monu, who is also the Manesar district convener of Bajrang Dal, and I have been intercepting cow smugglers on a daily basis for the past five to six years. Around two years ago, we had caught one of the smugglers present at the spot on Thursday as well. We personally know some of these men as they were involved in cow smuggling earlier too,” Manoj said.

On Thursday afternoon, members of various Hindu groups arrived at the Medanta Hospital to check on the victim. Around 2pm, they walked to the commissioner’s office, raising slogans such as “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and “Gai bachegi toh desh bachega”.

Rajeev Mittal, national general secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Kranti Dal, said, “The members of the Hindu organisations went and met the assistant commissioner of police (crime) and other officials at the commissioner’s office. We want the accused to be arrested within 24 hours or we will hold a statewide protest. The officials have assured us of quick action.”

He added that the members have also written a memorandum to the chief minister of Haryana, demanding strict action against cow smuggling and slaughter.

Archarya Azad Singh Arya, vice-president of Gau Raksha Dal of Haryana, alleged negligence on part of the police. He said, “Our boys were trying to get in touch with the police for at least 40 minutes. Even in a city such as Gurugram, the police was not able to reach the spot quickly. It is a shame for them and the state government.”

Mittal said that the cows that were pushed out of the truck have been transferred to a cow shelter in Basai village. “They have sustained minor injuries and are undergoing treatment,” he said.

First Published: Oct 10, 2019 20:31 IST

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