BHOPAL: A 35-year-old farmer from Ashok Nagar district of Madhya Pradesh, who had gone to check on his cow was found hanging dead at a veterinary hospital in the city on Monday morning.
Ghanshyam Lodhi was found dead just a few hours after a group of men from his native village threatened him to withdraw a criminal case against an Akhtar last month, for hurting Lodhi’s cow.
Ghanshyam Lodhi from Silwan village of Ashok Nagar district was found hanging with a towel through the iron bars on the staircase of the veterinary hospital in Jahangirabad where Lodhi, his nephew Sunil and a police ASI had arrived on May 6 for the medical investigation of his injured cow.
After Lodhi's death, Sunil alleged that Akhtar and his brother Ahmad, along with at least four others from Silwan village had arrived at the hospital and threatened Lodhi on Sunday.
“We have booked Akhtar, Ahmad and four others under Section 306 of the IPC for abetment of suicide and investigations are on. We are awaiting Lodhi’s autopsy report from Hamidia Hospital in Bhopal to fully ascertain whether it was a case of suicide or something else,” said Ashok Nagar superintendent of police (SP) Santosh Singh Gaur on Tuesday.
Angry residents of Silwan village and members of some saffron outfits have been protesting in the village since Monday. The protestors had refused to cremate Ghanshyam Lodhi’s body in Silwan on Tuesday, but agreed after police intervention.
“We’ve deployed additional police force in the village to deal with any eventuality, despite the situation being under control,” said Gaur.
According to Santosh Singh Gaur, Ghanshyam Lodhi’s cow had sustained wounds in its hoof after Akhtar, aiming a stone at at a stray dog hit the cow instead, on April 27.
The cow was examined by a team of veterinary doctors after villagers and saffron outfits alleged that the cow was shot at. However, reports confirmed that the cow was hit by a hard, blunt object.
“We booked the accused Akhtar under Section 429 of IPC (mischief by killing or maiming cattle) and the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and he was subsequently sent to jail, before he was released on bail three days later,” said the SP, Ashok Nagar.
After the cow’s hoof infection worsened amid demands by saffron activists for another test, it was sent to the veterinary hospital on May 6 where it was declared out of danger.