Nahan: At a time when the whole nation is debating on lynching of a man in Dadri, a truck driver in Himachal Pradesh was allegedly killed by a mob on Friday on suspicion of smuggling cattle.
The trucker's four accomplices were apprehended by the Himachal Pradesh Police with the help of local people after nearly four hours of chase in the forests in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh.
DSP Pachhad, Yogesh Rolta, said that five cow smugglers, who were attacked an injured by local people, were arrested and admitted to hospital.
A truck carrying five cows and 10 oxen was spotted by local people who chased the vehicle. Sensing trouble, the truck driver allegedly tried to smash one of the vehicles by hitting it from the rear, Rolta said. But when the police and people kept up the chase, the truck driver stopped the vehicle at Lawasa Chowki square and allegedly threw some cows out of truck, he said. One cow died on the spot while five others received grievous injuries.
Abandoning the truck, the five alleged cow smugglers took shelter in a nearby forest at Lawasa Chowki adjacent to Sarahan-Chandigarh road, said the DSP.
The police, with the help of local villagers, arrested all the five cow smugglers, after several hours of chase in the forest.
The villagers, who far outnumbered the policemen, beat up the alleged cow smugglers after they were overpowered, police sources said.
One of the arrested persons identified as Noman (28), a resident of Rampur village of Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh, succumbed to his injuries in Sarahan hospital where he was taken.
A case of murder under Section 302 of IPC was registered on the complaint filed by one Imran, a relative of the deceased, by Pachhad police. The body of Noman has been sent for postmortem.
As per International Business Times, Bajrang Dal's involvement is suspected in the lynching. An FIR has been registered and probe is on.
Rolta said that other four accused of cow smuggling, Mohd Nishu (37), driver of the truck, Guljar (22), Salman (20)and Gulfam (24), all residents of village Rampur of Saharanpur district, would be produced in a local court.
All the accused have been booked under different sections of Cruelty against Animals Act.
The truck, carrying the oxen and cows, was impounded by police.
The incident comes almost a month after Mohammad Akhlaq, 50, a resident of a village in Uttar Pradesh, was dragged from his house and lynched following a rumour that he allegedly killed a cow and consumed beef.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier this week called the incident "unfortunate", but added that his government had nothing to do with them.
(With PTI inputs)