Madhya Pradesh: Seoni district collector, SP removed after recovery of over 50 slaughtered cow

Seoni and its adjoining southern districts, including Balaghat and Betul, are considered hotspots for cow slaughter due to their proximity to Nagpur, particularly the Kamthi area.
Madhya Pradesh has one of the most stringent anti-cow slaughter and cattle smuggling laws in the country.
Madhya Pradesh has one of the most stringent anti-cow slaughter and cattle smuggling laws in the country.File photo | PTI

BHOPAL: Slaughter of more than 50 cows in the tribal-dominated Seoni district has led to the removal of the southern Madhya Pradesh district's collector and police superintendent.

In a late-night action on Saturday, Chief Minister Dr Mohan Yadav ordered the removal of District Collector Kshitij Singhal and Police Superintendent Rakesh Singh.

Sanskriti Jain and Sunil Kumar Mehta have been appointed as the new collector and SP, respectively.

Chief Minister Yadav has also directed ADG-CID Pawan Srivastava at the state police headquarters to probe the entire incident, in which five locals have been arrested.

The National Security Act (NSA) has been invoked against two of the arrested individuals.

The incident came to light when 54 cow carcasses with severed heads and limbs were found in two locations—near the Wainganga river in the Dhanora area and in the Kakartala forests, which are 50 km apart—on Wednesday evening.

This discovery has caused significant unrest in Seoni district, with right-wing Hindu groups enforcing a shutdown of the communally sensitive town.

Police teams from Seoni have been dispatched to neighboring Nagpur in Maharashtra to apprehend the masterminds behind the inter-state cow smuggling-slaughter racket.

Seoni and its adjoining southern districts, including Balaghat and Betul, are considered hotspots for cow smuggling and illegal slaughter due to their proximity to Nagpur, particularly the Kamthi area.

Recent statistics from the MP police headquarters reveal that over 7,000 cattle being smuggled or transported illegally have been rescued across the state, with more than 1,000 individuals arrested in the last six months.

Since the beginning of Mohan Yadav's tenure, over 500 cases of cow smuggling and slaughter have been registered, with Seoni district accounting for 55 cases, 99 arrests, 1,301 cattle freed, and 38 vehicles seized.

The southern MP districts, being the closest to Nagpur, serve as significant transit routes for cattle smugglers.

According to a former state police officer, about 70% of the cattle are smuggled from UP and Rajasthan to Nagpur and Hyderabad through these districts, with only 30% involving local smugglers.

In May 2022, two men from the Gond tribe were lynched by cow vigilantes after cow meat was found in their possession in Kurai area of Seoni district.

The Yadav government, which has completed six months in office, is observing the current Hindu new year as Cow Protection Year.

The state police have intensified their crackdown on alleged cow slaughter ahead of the Eid-Al-Adha festival, including a recent raid in Bhainswahi village of Mandla district, where around 100 kg of "beef" was seized from 11 houses. The houses, allegedly built illegally, were demolished by local authorities.

Madhya Pradesh has one of the most stringent anti-cow slaughter and cattle smuggling laws in the country.
15 houses in two Madhya Pradesh districts demolished over allegations of cow slaughter, illegal beef trade

In other incidents, four men from the minority community in Ratlam district were arrested under the NSA for allegedly attempting to disturb communal harmony by throwing a severed calf's head into a Hindu temple. Their houses were also demolished. Similarly, in Morena district, two men were arrested and the NSA invoked after the recovery of "beef."

Madhya Pradesh has one of the most stringent anti-cow slaughter and cattle smuggling laws in the country, with penalties including up to seven years of imprisonment and mandatory confiscation of vehicles used in cattle smuggling.

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