BHOPAL: It’s been three weeks since an alleged bovine smuggling racket was busted by police in Madhya Pradesh capital with seizure of around 100 kg cow meat (beef). But the cops despite arresting one of the key players of the racket are yet to establish the real source of seized meat.
On November 12, 2017, early morning in a coordinated operation by Hanumanganj and Bagsewania police, a Bolero pick-up vehicle bearing registration number of Ratlam district of MP was impounded near the BRTS corridor in capital city’s Bagsewania area. While the driver of the pick-up vehicle fled from the spot, the checking of the vehicle led the cops to around 100 kg suspected bovine meat.
The next day, the Bagsewania police arrested the key player of the racket, Shaqil Khan (27), originally hailing from adjoining Sehore district. The Sehore district which neighbours state capital Bhopal is also the home district of MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Khan, who presently lives with wife in Gandhinagar area of Bhopal has been accused in the past also in cases of buffalo theft and smuggling in Gandhinagar and Gunga areas of Bhopal and Kalapipal area of Shajapur district.
The testing of seized by veterinary experts in Bhopal established that it was cow meat. The arrested man was booked under provisions of the Madhya Pradesh Gauvansh Pratishedh Adhiniyam 2004 (cow slaughter prohibition law).
Investigations based on questioning of the arrested man revealed that the pick-up vehicle being used to carry the bovine meat had been purchased by Khan from another person just a fortnight ago, particularly for the purpose of stashing and carrying the meat to Bhopal.
Khan was not alone on November 12, as the pick-up vehicle being driven by him was escorted by two men (who also hail from Sehore district) on a motorcycle. The two men supposedly knew the contact to whom the meat stashed in the vehicle was to be supplied possibly near Bhopal Talkies theatre in the capital city only.
“We’re working on detecting the actual source of the seized meat, which as per veterinary experts in Bhopal is beef. The police are also on the hunt for the other men connected with the arrested man,” said additional SP (ASP Bhopal Zone-II) Hitesh Chaudhary told The New Indian Express on Saturday.
According to sources in the know of ongoing investigations into the case, two stray cows could have been slaughtered in nocturnal hours on a remote hillock in Sehore district, before being loaded on the pick-up vehicle for Bhopal.
The arrest of the other men involved in the alleged crime will help the cops to know the actual source of seized meat.