Gurgaon: Mobs opposed to cow slaughter on Friday went on the rampage in two places in Haryana torching 65 vehicles and attacking police after intercepting trucks carrying cattle and cow flesh.
Security forces rushed reinforcements after a large crowd took over a section of the Delhi-Jaipur highway and blocked traffic in the evening and went on a violence spree, police said.
"Lot of damage has been done by miscreants," Haryana`s Additional Director General of Police KK Sharma told a news agency, referring to the arson in Rewari district.
He said a police post at Dharuhera in Rewari and some 50 police and civilian vehicles were set upon by the mob besides state-owned buses. All of them were set on fire.
Such was the intensity of the violence that policemen fled their posts to save their lives.
"We are trying to restore traffic on the highway and other routes," Sharma added.
The violence took place some 45 km from the Gurgaon bus stand after a truck allegedly carrying cow flesh and pelt overturned on the main road of the town.
Two other trucks carrying similar consignment were intercepted by people. The frightened drivers abandoned their vehicles and fled.
Earlier, another mob intercepted at least 15 trucks ferrying cows, unloaded the animals, and then set the vehicles on fire in Pataudi area in Gurgaon district.
Al least 25 other trucks ferrying nearly 200 cows from Chandigarh to Uttar Pradesh were seized by the villagers. The truck drivers and helpers managed to escape.
Police said these trucks were transporting stray cows caught by the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh.
They were being taken to the Shree Mataji Gaushala at Barsana in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh.
The trouble started when some trucks were caught in a traffic jam at Jhajjar.
"When people came to know that the trucks were full of cows, a rumour spread that they were being taken to slaughter house,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Rahul Sharma told a news agency.
Nine trucks were set aflame near Khandewla village and six near Jatoli, Sharma said.
To add to the tension, some cows were found dead in the trucks.
The trucks were to have had police escort. The officer said they were investigating if the escort was provided or not.
The region has been in ferment since August 25 when Vikrant Yadav, a crusader against cow slaughter, was murdered.
Three days later, the region`s Maha Panchayat, representing 360 villages, gave a 72-hour deadline to the authorities to arrest the killers.
Police are yet to apprehend the killers.