CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Police on Thursday arrested five animal smugglers and seized three trucks carrying 28 cows and 11 calves, which were bound for slaughterhouses in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The cattle were being smuggled from Punjab to Jammu and Kashmir. A case under Sections 295 of IPC, 3/4 Animal Cruelty Act and 4-B Cow Slaughter Act has been registered against the accused -- Gurdev Kumar,Iqbal Masih, Nirmal Singh Bhogpur, Manjinder Singh and Gurdeep Singh,said SSP, Pathankot, Rakesh Kaushal.
“A police team, led by ASI Ram, intercepted the trucks following a tip-off. The team was accompanied by president of Cow Samiti, Nitian Mahajan, and Bajrang Dal functionary Rajesh Gaggan,” he said and added, “Three trucks have been impounded and the police are investigating”.
Police sources said the cattle were meant to be transported to Jammu & Kashmir ahead of the start of Ramadan as the meat prices in the state have skyrocketed.
The modus operandi of the smugglers is that they buy cattle from Punjab at cheap prices and smuggle them out for slaughter. This is done through a wide network of operators, who stuff animals in trucks.
In Thursday’s incident, each truck carried at least 13 cows and the smugglers were supposed to get around Rs 3,000 per animal.
Recently, an abandoned truck, carrying 10 cows, was recovered by the Maqsudan Police near Raipur Ballan village in Jalandhar. The cows were later moved to a shed at Transport Nagar. The police also seized the vehicle which spotted a fake Uttar Pradesh registration number.
While cow smuggling and lack of action against those selling substandard beef have been a political hot potato in the state, animal activists say that there has been a rise in incidents of cow smuggling.