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Odisha: Mob sets truck afire suspecting beef transportation

As tension built up, the truck driver and the cleaner escaped.

india Updated: Jul 25, 2017 21:12 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
beef,truck,transport
Police said they are trying to identify owner of the truck. Fire fighters soon reached the spot, but the truck was badly burnt by then. (HT PHOTO)

A truck allegedly carrying beef was set on fire by a mob after it turned turtle in Odisha’s coastal Ganjam district on Sunday.

The truck was on its way from Bhubaneswar to Andhra Pradesh when it overturned at Randa under Golanthara police station limits.

As the driver and cleaner of the truck got a crane to lift the vehicle, blood spilled onto the road. “A mob led by local VHP and Bajrang Dal activists reached the spot and forced open the doors of the vehicle. When they saw meat packed in plastic sacks, they became angry and set fire to the truck,” said Ganjam superintendent of police Ashis Singh. “The area is also stronghold of BJP,” he added.

Police filed a case against 100 unnamed suspected.

As tension built up, the truck driver and the cleaner escaped.

VHP leaders said their activists were not involved in the arson. “When our activists heard about the case, they informed the police and rushed to the spot. By the time they arrived the truck was burning. Our people are no way involved. This would be clear if police investigates thoroughly,” said VHP State secretary Prashant Panda.

Fire fighters soon reached the spot, but the truck was badly burnt by then. Police said they are trying to identify owner of the truck.

Action would be initiated against the truck driver as per the existing laws, police said, adding that they were investigating whether the truck was carrying beef.

In May this year, a truck allegedly carrying beef from Cuttack to Hyderabad was detained at Bhubaneswar by locals after it was involved in a case of rash driving.

Under the Odisha Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1960, killing of cows is totally prohibited. Killing of cows (heifer or calf) is a cognisable offence and carries penal provision of imprisonment up to maximum of 2 years or fine up to Rs. 1,000 or both.

However, slaughter of bull, bullock is allowed on production of fit-for-slaughter certificate and if the cattle is over 14 years of age or has become permanently unfit for breeding, drought.

First Published: Jul 23, 2017 21:40 IST