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Fear of gau rakshaks forces truckers in Meerut to stop ferrying cows

Truckers in Meerut have unanimously decided to stop ferrying bovines in the wake of attacks by cow vigilantes on cattle traders and farmers in many parts of the country.

lucknow Updated: Nov 28, 2017 16:39 IST
S Raju
S Raju
Hindustan Times, Meerut
Cow vigilantes,Gau rakshaks,Narendra Modi
Truckers in Meerut have stopped transporting cattle fearing attack by cow vigilantes. (AFP File Photo )

It was a reality check for a senior Uttar Pradesh police officer, who wanted to tranship his two cows and a calf from Meerut to his Lucknow home.

The transporter, he approached, politely refused him as truckers have unanimously decided to stop ferrying cows, buffaloes and calves fearing attack by cow vigilantes.

President of Meerut transport association Gaurav Sharma said in the wake of recent attacks in Meerut and neighbouring districts on truckers carrying livestock they had decided not to ferry cattle.

More than 10,000 trucks operate in the district and all are strictly following the decision.

The police officer who approached me offered to provide a constable to escort the vehicle. However, I demanded an escort vehicle to ensure the safety of the driver during the transportation of his cows and calf,” Sharma said.

After much persuasion, eventually, the cows were transported to Lucknow after three armed policemen were deployed as escorts, he said.

“Truckers are so scared of cow vigilantes that they even refuse to transport dead animals,” he added

About a fortnight ago, city transporters had refused to ferry a sick cow for treatment to Bareilly.

Failing to convince transporters, the owner of the cow, approached the police and later tweeted to chief minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for help.

After the matter came to the light, senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manzil Saini intervened to arrange a vehicle to ferry the cow to Bareilly and back to Meerut after treatment.

The SSP admitted that the transporters were reluctant in taking the cow to Bareilly and the police had to intervene.

She said truckers were scared as several cases of attacks on cattle farmers and traders by cow vigilantes came to the light.

Since May 2015, a violent vigilante campaign against beef consumption has led to the killing of at least 10 Muslims, including a 12-year-old boy, in seven separate incidents of mob violence in India, the New-York based Human Rights Watch reported.

Many Hindus consider the cow to be a holy animal, and slaughter is forbidden in many Indian states.

Raisuddin, who has been in livestock trade for over three decades, said he did not come across such a situation in the past.

“Cow vigilantes have even ignored the appeal of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to take law into their hands,” he said.

Raisuddin claimed he suffered a major loss because of the prevailing problem and demanded that attacks on animal traders should be checked.

First Published: Nov 28, 2017 16:39 IST