CHANDIGARH: Carcasses of at least 19 cows were found on Saturday morning at an abandoned place near a railway track close to Jhans village, about 36 km from Hoshiarpur.
A two-member committee has been constituted by the Punjab Gau Sewa Commission to probe the incident and it will submit its report within seven days.
Punjab chief minister-designate Bhagwant Mann also condemned the incident and asked the DGP to get a thorough probe conducted.
Mann said bad elements should refrain from such acts as law and order will be maintained at all cost.
In an official statement here, Mann said none will be allowed to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere of the state by perpetrating such crimes.
He asked the DGP that strict action should also be ensured against those found involved in the act.
Mann also appealed to people to exercise restraint.
Superintendent of Police (Investigation) Mukhtiar Rai said headless carcasses of at least 19 cows were found at an abandoned place near the railway track.
Around 12 gunny bags filled with potatoes were also found lying at the place.
According to police, some unidentified people first dumped these cows and gunny bags filled with potatoes there on Friday night.
After slaughtering the cows, they took away their skin, said police.
After getting information, he along with a police team reached the spot and started investigation, said the SP.
Superintendent of Police, Government Railway Police, Jalandhar, Parveen Kanda, also joined him in the investigation.
These carcasses were spotted by some locals and then they informed the Tanda police station.
As the news spread in the area, a large number of people from nearby areas and activists of Hindu outfits, including the Bajrang Dal, gathered on the spot.
Activists led by Ranjit Rana and Prince Katna, both Punjab vice-presidents of the Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray), former Punjab minister and state BJP leader Tikshan Sud staged a dharna and blocked the traffic on the Jalandhar-Pathankot GT Road at Tanda in protest against the incident.
Newly elected MLA of the area, Jasvir Singh Raja, and former Punjab cabinet minister Sangat Singh Gilzian also visited the spot.
Later at 3.30 pm, Dasua SDM Randeep Singh and Superintendent of Police Mukhtiar Rai told protestors that a case under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Section 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings) of the IPC has been registered against the unknown persons.
The protesters lifted the blockade after police assured them of the arrest of those who were behind the incident.
SDM Randeep Singh said a team of the Animal Husbandry Department visited the spot and conducted autopsy of the carcasses on the spot.
These carcasses are being buried on the spot with full religious rituals, he stated.
According to an official release, Sachin Sharma, chairman, Gau Sewa Commission, the two-member committee will submit its detailed report within seven days.
Describing the incident as most unfortunate, he said the culprits will not be spared and due legal action will be taken against them.
He had also taken all information relating to the incident from Deputy Commissioner, SSP, Hoshiarpur and Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry Department, and instructed them to expedite the investigation.
He appealed to the people of the state to maintain love, harmony and peace.