Angry protesters pushed a police jeep into the canal in which alleged cow carcasses were spotted floating around in Bihar’s Madhepura district on Monday.(HT file photo)
Angry protesters pushed a police jeep into the canal in which alleged cow carcasses were spotted floating around in Bihar’s Madhepura district on Monday.(HT file photo)

Internet services suspended in 7 districts of Bihar after carcasses found floating in canal

Apprehending communal tension, Bihar has suspended internet services in seven of its 38 districts after cow carcasses were found floating in a canal in Madhepura district.
By Ruchir Kumar and Aditya Nath Jha | Hindustan Times, Patna/Purnia
PUBLISHED ON SEP 05, 2017 12:15 PM IST

Internet services were suspended in seven districts under Kosi and Purnia divisions of Bihar following communal tension after a large number of alleged cow carcasses were found floating in a canal at Tinkonwan village under Murliganj police station of Madhepura district on Monday.

The decision to ban the services till Tuesday would affect the districts of Madhepura, Supaul and Saharsa under Kosi division and Purnea, Araria, Kishanganj and Katihar in Purnia division, also known as Seemanchal.

A posse of security personnel from the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and the district police were camping at Murliganj.

Principal secretary, home, Amir Subhani told Hindustan Times: “The situation is absolutely normal in Murliganj now. The ban in internet services was only till today and will be lifted tomorrow.”

Asked if the carcasses could be of bovines, which died in recent floods that affected a population of 1.71 crore in 19 out of 38 Bihar districts , Subhani said, “The police are investigating the matter. How can you expect that I, as the home secretary, will pre-empt their findings and share them with the media. What will the police inquiry then be about?”

Efforts to contact superintendent of police, Madhepura, Vikash Kumar proved futile, as he did not respond to HT’s call or text message on his cellphone. The staff on phone duty at his official residence said the SP had left for Murliganj.

An angry mob overturned a police jeep before pushing it into the canal in which alleged cow carcasses were seen floating in Madhepura on Monday. (HT file photo)
An angry mob overturned a police jeep before pushing it into the canal in which alleged cow carcasses were seen floating in Madhepura on Monday. (HT file photo)

Madhepura district magistrate Mohammed Sohail said the situation was ”normal” in the district on Tuesday morning and that the decision to suspend internet services was taken at the state headquarters level to prevent spread of rumours, which could lead to law and order problem in the area.

As the word about the carcasses spread on Monday, a large number of people along with members of cow vigilante groups reached the spot and protested the alleged cow slaughter. People also burnt tyres and demanded stern action against the culprits.

Giving vent to their ire, the mob targeted police personnel for their alleged slackness in arresting the culprits. The mob manhandled a policeman as the protestors started pelting stones on the police team and chased it away. The mob damaged the police vehicle and even pushed it into the canal. They also blocked the road and disrupted traffic on the state highway.

Policemen and curious onlookers at the spot where carcasses were found in Madhepura on Monday. (HT file photo)
Policemen and curious onlookers at the spot where carcasses were found in Madhepura on Monday. (HT file photo)

Police sources said it looked like those bovines were allegedly sacrificed on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha (Bakrid) and later their carcasses were dumped in the canal. However, another theory floating around was that these carcasses were of bovines, which had died in flash floods that swept the state on August 12.

The police have registered a case under the Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act against unidentified persons, but were yet to arrest any. The carcasses were sent for postmortem examination to ascertain the cause of death, the Sohail said.

Earlier on Saturday, Araria was tense after rumours that a Muslim family had carried cow meat” to their home located on Bus Stand road on the occasion of Bakrid.

Tension had also gripped Ara town in Bhojpur district on Sunday after suspected cow carcass was found on the residential campus of a Muslim family, leading to the arrest of two persons on charges of animal cruelty and hurting public sentiments.

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