Shimla: The culprits responsible for the lynching of an alleged cow smuggler in Himachal Pradesh two days back continue to be evasive even as police on Sunday said it has identified five suspects and detained six for questioning.
"We have identified five persons on the basis of messages and pictures flashed by some youth when they captured the five alleged cow smugglers," DSP Yogesh Rotla said about the incident that took place near Lawasa village in Sirmaur district, about 150 kms from here, on Friday.
Police teams have been sent to suspected hideouts but all the accused have switched off their mobile phones, Rotla said.
He expressed confidence that they would be nabbed soon as they are locals.
The police have detained six others for questioning on the basis of information after?the incident and their past antecedents are being verified, DGP Sanjay Kumar said.
The DGP said the incident was "unfortunate" but is being blown up "out of proportions".
28-year-old Noman Akhtar, a resident of Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, was lynched by a mob on October 16 while his four accomplices were apprehended by police with the help of local people after nearly four hours of chase of the truck carrying ten oxen and five cows in the forests in Sirmaur district.
The incident, which happened close on the heels of Dadri lynching, drew criticism, with the CPI(M) and Congress condemning the incident and urging the government to ensure that peace in the state was not disturbed.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad blamed the government for "failure" to check?smuggling of cows, oxen and other animals to adjoining districts of Uttar Pradesh.
VHP's State Organising Secretary Manoj Kumar said the government had failed to check smuggling of cows, and the police was now "targeting" the activists involved in Cow protection.
However, the state's Animal Husbandry Minister Anil Sharma said the government was committed to protect cows and other cattle, but it was the task of the police to check smuggling of animals.
Expressing concern over the incident, the All-Himachal Muslim Welfare Society has urged the Chief Minister?to order a probe into incident.
"No one was above?the Constitution and?a probe should also be initiated by the Deputy Commissioner, Sirmaur and those involved in this ghastly act of lynching a youth, should be arrested immediately," Naseem Mohammed Diddan, president of the Society said in a statement.