Two senior officials removed over cow slaughter reports in MP town

The National Security Act (NSA) has been invoked against two of the arrested individuals, police said.
Two senior officials removed over 
cow slaughter reports in MP town

BHOPAL: The collector and police superintendent of Madhya Pradesh’s tribal-dominated Seoni district have been removed after recovery of over 50 slaughtered cows, officials said.

In a late-night action on Saturday, Chief Minister Mohan Yadav ordered the removal of district collector Kshitij Singhal and SP Rakesh Singh. Sanskriti Jain and Sunil Kumar Mehta have been appointed as the new collector and SP.

CM Yadav has also directed ADG-CID Pawan Srivastava at the state police headquarters to probe the incident, in which five locals have been arrested. The National Security Act (NSA) has been invoked against two of the arrested individuals, police said.

The incident came to light when 54 cow carcasses with severed heads and limbs were found in two locations — near the Wainganga river in Dhanora and in Kakartala forests —on Wednesday evening. After the discovery, right-wing Hindu groups enforced a shutdown in the town. Police teams from Seoni have been dispatched to Nagpur in Maharashtra to apprehend the masterminds behind the inter-state cow smuggling racket, officials said.

Seoni and its adjoining districts, including Balaghat and Betul, are considered hotspots of cow smuggling and illegal slaughter. 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 people 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 and 99 arrests.

A former police officer said, “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 of Seoni district. The Yadav government is observing the current Hindu new year as Cow Protection Year.

The police had cracked down on alleged cow slaughter ahead of Eid-Al-Adha festival, recently raiding Bhainswahi village of tribal dominated Mandla district and seizure of around 100 kg “beef” from 11 houses of minority community. All the eleven houses which were allegedly built illegally on government land were demolished subsequently by the local administration and police.

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