Alwar: Shootout between police and men transporting cattle; Umar arrested

Police in Rajasthan’s Alwar shot at a truck being allegedly used to smuggle cows early on Monday, officials said, claiming people in the vehicle were the first ones to open fire.

This is the second such case in days. Last week, a man was killed when police in Alwar similarly opened fire to stop a truck.

Officials said Monday’s shootout did not lead to any fatalities and one person was arrested.

“They were smuggling seven cows and six calves from somewhere near Narnaul to their village Palla in Nuh through Alwar. When they saw the police barricading at Gadpur, they fired at the police parties before taking a turn into a locality,” said Bhiwadi circle officer (CO) Siddhant Sharma.

Sharma said 3-4 shots were fired first at the police team, which returned 4-5 shots.

The vehicle eventually got struck in a narrow street and the men fled on foot before one of the suspects, identified as 35-year-old Umar, was caught since he hurt his leg, according to police. The others were named as Tahir, Haroon and Zubair.

Alwar is close to Mewat that straddles Haryana and Punjab. The region has a prominent settlement of Muslims, many of whom are from impoverished backgrounds and trade in cattle for a living. People often buy cattle from the several weekly markets and take them to their village, often passing by Alwar.

It was in Alwar that dairy farmer Pehlu Khan was lynched by ‘cow-protection’ vigilantes who accused him of smuggling the animal. Khan had bought the cow legally.

In Monday’s case, the police also accused the cattle transporters of smuggling. The CO said the bovines were bought for Rs 10,000 and were being taken for slaughter. It was not clear on what basis the claim was made.

A case against the four has been registered under the bovine act, sections of arms act, and for attempt to murder and assault on public servant.

Cows are considered sacred by Hindus and the animal’s preservation has become a prominent, often provocative issue since the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Vigilante groups with members who belong to right-wing groups have attacked and killed people found carrying cows or over suspicions that they ate beef. The targets have overwhelmingly been Muslims.

Source : Hindustan Times

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