JAIPUR: Rajasthan's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party MLA, Gyan Dev Ahuja, has warned that if anyone indulges in cow smuggling or slaughters a cow, he will be killed.
Ahuja's threat to cow smugglers came as a response to an alleged cow smuggling incident in Alwar district on Saturday.
"Mera to sidha sidha kehna hai ki gau taskari karoge ya gau kashi karoge to yun hi maare jaoge (I say this clearly: if you smuggle or slaughter cows, you will be killed)," he told reporters.
Not stranger to making controversial and bizarre statements, Ahuja had previously claimed that the premier Jawaharlal Nehru University was a hub of sex and drugs, where 3,000 used condoms and 2,000 liquor bottles were found daily.
On Saturday, an alleged cow smuggler was caught, while two of his associates managed to escape in Ramgarh area of the district, which often sees violence by cow vigilante groups.
The man caught was allegedly beaten by local residents.
However, Ahuja claimed the accused was injured after the vehicle in which he was allegedly smuggling cows overturned.
"Three men were smuggling cows. When police chased them, they tried to escape through narrow lanes of a village and the vehicle overturned leaving one of the smugglers injured. Two others managed to escape," the Ramgarh legislator claimed when contacted.
He said people resent cow smuggling and slaughter.
"There is anger among people against cow smugglers because they smuggle cows, because they open fire at police when police try to prevent them. They also take roads through villages in Alwar to escape to Haryana and pelt stones at the villagers," he said.
Ahuja said there has been a sudden spurt in incidents of cow smuggling of late.
"More than 100 incidents have occurred in the past a few days, which is alarming and unusually high. Police are also doing their job to check such incidents," he said.
Circle Officer Alwar South Anil Kumar said a man - later identified as Zakir - was arrested for smuggling cows on Saturday.
He was beaten by villagers before the police took him in custody. "A police party tried to stop the mini-truck but the accused fled after opening fire at the police. There were 8-10 bovine animals in the truck," Kumar said.