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Mob torches van in Odisha district after tip-off about cattle smuggling

People in Asurali in Bhadrak stopped eight vans at around 2am and found four cows dead in a vehicle.

india Updated: Sep 30, 2018 15:22 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
Cattle smuggling,Bhadrak,cow protection group
The burnt van in Bhadrak district.(HT Photo)

A mob torched a van past midnight Saturday in Odisha’s communally-sensitive Bhadrak district after getting a tip off that cattle were being smuggled to West Bengal, said the police.

People in Asurali in Bhadrak stopped eight vans at around 2am and found four cows dead in a vehicle. “The people then freed 150 cows and torched one van. They also vandalised other vehicles,” said Dhamnagar sub-divisional police officer Manoranjan Samal. A van driver was arrested for cattle trafficking. People also blocked a road in protest.

Last week, the district administration of Bhadrak banned a Muharram procession and immersion of Ganesh idols because of communal tension.

A self-styled cow protection group blocked a train at Balasore railway station on September 14 night, alleging that it was carrying 31 cows without permission. The train was allowed to run after the Railway Police verified the documents the cattle transporters had.

Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal in August directed the statge government to check trafficking after the union environment ministry’s Animal Welfare Board said cattle from six Odisha districts were being smuggled to West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The Board had said illegal cattle transportation was being carried out mainly through two corridors: one via Balasore and Mayurbhanj to West Bengal and the other to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh via Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada and Koraput districts.

First Published: Sep 30, 2018 15:22 IST