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Eight arrested for attack in Barmer on truck carrying cows to Tamil Nadu

Officials are charting a new route and new means of transport following the attack, the latest in a string of similar assaults by cow vigilante groups that have gained strength since the BJP came to power in 2014.

india Updated: Jul 05, 2017 13:15 IST
Mukesh Mathrani
Mukesh Mathrani
Hindustan Times, Barmer
Cow vigilantism,Cow vigilantes,Barmer
A truck transporting cows was attacked in Rajasthan’s Barmer on Monday. (HT Photo)

Eight people were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly attacking and torching trucks full of cows in Rajasthan as Tamil Nadu officials said they were scared to travel across the state and elsewhere.

A mob of around 50 intercepted five trucks late on Sunday on suspicion that the cows were being smuggled but police said the animals had been legally bought by the Tamil Nadu government under a scheme to protect them.

“During the attack, we felt that the mob could do anything. Before reaching Tamil Nadu, we have to cross various states and we are not in a position to take any risks,” said R Arvind, a veterinary doctor travelling in one of the trucks.

The officials are charting a new route and fresh means of transportation after the attack, one of string of similar assaults by cow vigilante groups that have gained strength since the BJP stormed to power in 2014.

Rajasthan is one of several states where vigilante groups claiming to be working for the protection of cows have attacked people ferrying cattle, often accusing the animals were being taken for slaughter.

On April 1, cattle trader Pehlu Khan was assaulted by similar vigilantes, who left him with injuries that claimed his life two days later. Barmer Police have said they will provide adequate security to the officials. In all, eight people have been arrested and charged with causing violence, damage to public property and for obstructing government officials from discharging of duty.

Seven police officers, including a station house officer, have also been removed for “not taking the matter seriously and arriving late at the scene”.

The Tamil Nadu officials said before they could understand anything, the mob started pelting stones at them and started attacking the drivers and other staff, adding that they also set afire to a truck full of cows. Police said the officials had valid documents from the Jaisalmer animal husbandry department and sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) for transportation of cows from Jaisalmer to Tamil Nadu.

First Published: Jun 13, 2017 14:28 IST