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NRI, friend claim they were targeted by ‘cattle smugglers’ in Gurgaon

Members of a cow protection group in Sohna claimed that they were chasing the cattle smugglers when the incident happened and the two women may have been there incidentally.

gurgaon Updated: Sep 26, 2017 23:12 IST
Ipsita Pati
Ipsita Pati
hindustan times
cow smuggling,cow vigilantes,sohan cow rescue
The van in which the cattle was being carried.

A 35-year-old NRI and her friend claimed that alleged cattle smugglers opened fired at them and threw cows in front of their car in Sohna area on early hours of Monday.

Members of a cow protection group in Sohna claimed that they were chasing the cattle smugglers when the incident happened and the two women may have been there incidentally.

British citizen Sonia Sharma, who stays at Sector 58 in Gurgaon, claimed in a press conference on Tuesday that she, along with her friend Archie Baranwal, was on a drive when they spotted a pick-up van carrying cows in an “unhealthy manner” and they decided to chase the van. They claimed the van was running on its rims as its rear tyres were missing.

Police said a total of six cows were rescued, of which three subsequently died later.

Meanwhile, members of the Cow Protection Task Force of Sohna claimed they were also chasing the pick-up van and had put spikes on the road as a result of which the tyres of the van got punctured, but the accused kept on driving due to which the rear tyres came off.

“We chased a pick-up van that was carrying cattle at around 12 am on intervening night of Sunday and Monday. The van was travelling from Sohna to Gurgaon. However, we missed the van initially. But at 2:30 am we again received information that the same van was coming from Gurgaon towards Sohna carrying six cows. We informed the police,” said Rohit Khatana, a member of Cow Protection Task Force of Sohna.

Khatana lodged an FIR in this regard at Sohna police station.

Khata na said police and the cow protection task force jointly carried out the operation. During the 30-minute chase, the accused fired bullets on the police and task force members.

“The police barricaded the road and seized the van with the cattle,” said Khatana, a resident of Damdama.

The two women confirmed the incident and said that when they spotted the van it was being driven without any tyres. Assuming that there might be an emergency, they drove close to the pick-up van bearing the registration number RJ32 GA 2303.

“We saw men on top of the van and a convoy of three vehicles going together blocking the road. We signalled them to stop and as a result they threw a live cow at us and also opened fired at us. We called the police but we received no help for more than 30 minutes,” said Sharma, a businesswoman,and Baranwal, who works at an MNC.

Both the women were out for a drive in their new SUV when the incident took place.

“After 30 minutes our friend called up and informed us that the police have rescued the cows after our complaint. We did not find any member of cow vigilante group to rescue the cattle,” said Sonia Sharma.

Based on the women’s complaint, police registered an FIR at the Sohna city police station.

On Khatana’s complaint, an FIR was registered under the Arms Act, the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gau Samvardhan Act 2015, and Section 120 (punishment of criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The second FIR was filed on Sharma’s complaint under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of IPC and under the Arms Act, and the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamwardhan Act.

“We got a tip-off regarding the incident from villagers and we also followed the van for 4 kms before seizing it. The accused fled from the spot leaving the cattle and the van on the Sohna road,” said Mukesh Kumar, assistant sub-inspector, Sohna city police station.

First Published: Sep 26, 2017 23:11 IST