Mob torches truck in J&K’s Kathua alleging cattle smuggling
Tension prevailed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district on Monday after a mob set a truck on fire, alleging that it was being used to smuggle cattle and blocked the Jammu-Pathankot national highway, prompting the police to use mild lathi charge to disperse the crowd.
According to the reports, the truck was moving in Hiranagar’s Ghagwal village in the wee hours of Monday, when locals got suspicious and signalled the driver to stop. However, police said, the driver accelerated and tried to flee. After moving a few kilometres the truck got trapped at Pathwal village and nine cows and buffaloes were found inside it, an official said. The truck was set ablaze after “rescuing” the animals, he added.
The police said the driver and the conductor of the truck abandoned it up on noticing the mob and escaped.
Soon, the protesters blocked the main road demanding stern action and immediate arrest of both the accused, alleging that bovine smuggling was going on unabated in the area. Later, the protesters carried out a march from Pathwal village to Dayalachak in Jammu.
As the crowd swelled and blocked the national highway, police resorted to lathi charge and tear gas shells were used to disperse the crowd. A few protesters have suffered minor injuries in the incident, said police. The protest was called off after the police assured speedy action against the culprits, said the official.
Meanwhile, in nearby Samba district, police arrested two alleged cattle smugglers and rescued 16 bovines.