Three men who were transporting buffaloes from Gurgaon to Ghazipur mandi for slaughter were allegedly beaten up in southeast Delhi’s Kalkaji area by activists of an animal rights group.
Cross-complaints have been registered in the matter. The FIR mentions that the accused are the members of People For Animals (PFA) but the animal rights body has denied any association with the incident.
The three injured men were taken to the AIIMS Trauma Center.
The truck, transporting about half a dozen buffaloes, was stopped by activists of the PFA who claimed that they followed the vehicle after receiving information that the men were transporting animals for slaughter.
According to the police, they received an emergency call Saturday from one Gaurav Gupta, an animal activist and office bearer of PFA, claiming that buffaloes were being transported illegally.
The occupants of the truck claimed that they had been roughed up by a group of animal rights activists led by Gupta.
Cattle trader Mohammad Latif said attackers claimed to be members of People for Animals, according to a story in Scroll.In.
My friends pleaded for mercy. They kept screaming that they were transporting buffaloes and not cows. All this fell on deaf years.”
The alleged attack left the cattle traders bleeding from their noses and foreheads.
The three men in the truck, who have been identified as Rizwan (25), Ashu (28) and Kamil (25), were travelling from their village of Pataudi Haryana’s Gurgaon district to Ghazipur mandi in East Delhi. Rizwan was driving the truck. They were followed by friends in three other vehicles.
Latif and his cousin Anees were in one car, behind the truck. Zahid and an unidentified relative were in another, while a third vehicle was occupied by Bijender Kumar and Mohammad Ashfak. Except for Kumar and Ashfak, who had been in Delhi for sometime to attend a wedding, the others were travelling from Pataudi.
When the cow vigilantes intercepted the truck and started assaulting its occupants, the cattle traders behind them decided not to intervene, fearing that they would be attacked too.
At one point, the crowd became very aggressive,” said Anees. “We were so scared that we fled the spot and parked the car around 200 metres away from where we could still get a glimpse of what was happening.”
Latif and Anees later followed the police van in which their injured friends were taken to AIIMS Trauma Centre. Kumar and Ashfak chose to take a rather long diversion.
All the witnesses have maintained that Rizwan, Ashu and Kamil were assaulted by a group of men alleging that they were transporting cows for slaughter.
A case has been registered against the three men for inhumane treatment of the animals on a complaint by the PFA members while the driver of the truck made a complaint against the activists, police said.
A case of voluntarily causing hurt and wrongful restraint has been registered against the PFA members, they added. Further investigation is underway.
Medical examination of the injured — Rizwan, Ashu and Kaamil — was carried out and the truck carrying buffaloes was seized by the police.
Police official Ramil Baaniya told IndiaTV the men sustained minor injuries and were treated at the AIIMS.
The NGO PFA has been working against animal cruelty in Delhi for a long time. they are not ‘gau rakshaks’ (cow protectionists),” he said.
The activists who were present at the spot also denied that they had beaten up the men.
Gaurav Gupta, who claimed to be a member of PFA, said “We had information regarding inhumane transportation (of the buffaloes) and followed the truck… Then we called the Police Control Room.”
PFA denies any association with the incident
Union Minister and an animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi, who is also the chairman of the PFA, denied that the men are connected to her organisation.
We have no PFA unit in Delhi. We have 10,000 volunteers across the country. Whoever acted did so in his individual capacity,” Gandhi’s office said.
Sources said that the minister spoke to the DCP of the area about the incident.
The incident comes amid increasing cases of cow vigilantes indulging in violence.
On Saturday, a cow vigilante group attacked and injured a nomadic family of five including a 9-year old girl and stole all their livestock.
Earlier this month, a Muslim man was lynched to death by a crowd in Rajasthan’s alwar for transporting cows which had purchased for his dairy business.
Photo credit: Hindustan Times