Cow smuggling case: Gurgaon cop, vigilante group head booked for faking evidence

Gurgaon Police on Saturday booked a sub-inspector and a self-proclaimed head of a cow vigilante group on charges of fabricating evidence and using false evidence in a case of cow smuggling

gurgaon Updated: Jan 09, 2017 16:05 IST
Rashpal Singh
Rashpal Singh
Hindustan Times
Cow vigilante,Sohna Gau Rakshak Dal,Cow protection group
Gurgaon Police on Saturday booked a sub-inspector and a self-proclaimed head of a cow vigilante group on charges of fabricating evidence and using false evidence in a case of cow smuggling.(HT Representative Photo)

Gurgaon Police on Saturday booked a sub-inspector and a self-proclaimed head of a cow vigilante group on charges of fabricating evidence and using false evidence in a case of cow smuggling.

The duo was also booked for wrongful confinement, false information, obstructing public way, turning witnesses hostile and criminal breach of trust. The FIR was filed at Sohna police station on Saturday following an order from additional sessions judge Kumud Guglani.

Questioning cow vigilantism, Guglani had on December 15 ordered the filing of an FIR against sub-inspector Manoj Kumar, investigating officer in the cow smuggling case and Harpal Singh, president of Sohna Gau Rakshak Dal.

The matter dates back to September 19, 2015, when a group of Sohna Gau Rakshak Dal members claimed to have received information of a vehicle carrying cows from Palwal to Mewat for slaughtering. Harpal claimed that he, along with other dal members, formed a picket at Lakhuwas village and spotted and signalled to stop a pickup van coming from Palwal side.

Harpal claimed that instead of stopping, the driver sped the vehicle and tried to run him and other dal members over. The driver, identified as UP resident Bihari Lal, then diverted the truck inside a nearby village, where his vehicle got stuck in a muddy path. The villagers caught hold of the driver and beat him up.

Read: Cop on the cattle beat: IPS officer Bharti Arora protects Haryana cows

A cow and two calves were recovered from the vehicle, the September FIR had mentioned.

Bihari was booked under section 307 (attempt to murder) and the Punjab Cow Slaughter Act at Sohna police station. He was chargesheeted in November 2015 but had pleaded not guilty.

The court observed that the police could not produce any independent witnesses even though it claimed that a number of villagers assaulted the accused. Finding statements of Harpal contradictory, the court declared him as a hostile witness.

“Harpal couldn’t explain how accused Bihari Lal attempted to run his pickup truck over the members of Gau Rakshak Dal” the court observed in its order to the police.

The court mentioned that a lot of vital ingredients were missing in the case and the police had failed to establish any evidence to book the accused for attempt to murder.

“Moreover, who permitted members of the dal to construct pickets on the roadside, disrupt free flow of traffic and take in custody vehicles running on the road,” questioned the court.

Inspector Yashbir Singh at Sohna police station said a case under sections 182, 194, 196, 211, 283, 323, 342, 406, 409 of the IPC has been filed and the matter would be investigated.

“Why will I turn hostile when we nabbed the accused? My statement in the FIR and in the court proceedings is same” said Harpal. He said they inform the police whenever a cattle smuggler is apprehended by the dal members.

On June 25 last year, Harpal had suffered gunshots on his hand when he and his fellow dal member Abhishek Gaur were shot at allegedly by cattle smugglers at Kundli-Manesar-Palwal expressway.

First Published: Jan 09, 2017 10:55 IST