7 tourists travelling around Odisha were attacked by cow smugglers, as a result of the former’s protest against the beating and torture being inflicted upon the poor bovines.
The incident happened on 14th July in the Rayagada district of the state. 3 people in the group, which comprised family and friends, hailed from Delhi while the rest were from Hyderabad.
As they were travelling near the Kutrugura village, they noticed about 500 cows on the road. The smugglers were reportedly beating the cows that were unable to walk. According to one of the tourists, the smugglers had tied legs of the cows with plastic ropes.
All this shocked the tourists who then opposed this action. This led to a heated argument and the smugglers then proceeded to attack them with sticks. It has also been reported that 3 women in the group were also molested by the smugglers.
The attack by the smugglers was so severe that one of the tourists named B Venketeswaran Kannan suffered critical head injuries. The techie from Hyderabad has now lodged an FIR in Chandili police station regarding the assault.
The tourists then met the District Collector, who then directed the police to arrest the attackers. The police are now identifying the smugglers based on a mobile footage which one of the tourists had captured.
The Rayagada district seems to be plagued with incidents of cattle smuggling. Almost everyday smugglers transport cattle from Rayagada’s villages to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
This isn’t the only time Cow smugglers have been accused of indulging in violent activities in recent times. While we had carried a report showcasing the blood on their hands, here are a few other such instances:
- On the night of 14th July, the cow smugglers killed 6 cows in the Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh. After killing the cows, they packed their meat in a truck. While fleeing, they also fired upon a few of the villagers who tried to stop them.
- A farmer was shot dead by the cattle smugglers on the night of 30th June in Agra of Uttar Pradesh. The farmer had nabbed one of the smugglers, who was trying to trying to steal a buffalo, but the smugglers killed him and ran away.
- Cow smugglers fired shots at policemen in the Bharatpur district of Rajasthan in April this year, when the police tried to stop a truck carrying cows.
- In June, a BSF jawan was attacked by the cow smugglers as he tried to stop them from crossing over into Bangladesh via the Meghalaya border. At about 11 AM, the BSF jawan named Krishna Murthy tried to stop 5-6 cattle traders from crossing over. They as a result attacked him using machetes and inflicted deep injuries on his neck.
BSF jawans it seems have been a regular victim of the cow smugglers. According to a 2015 report, the BSF jawans were prevented from shooting the cow smugglers via a 2011 order of the Indian government that followed after an alleged row with Bangladesh. This, according to the forces, had made them lame ducks as even though they were armed sufficiently, they could not protect themselves from cattle smugglers who arrived in hundreds. As a result of the ‘ceasefire’, the border breaching had been rising year on year and had resulted in the death of a jawan in 2015.
BSF though now appears to be cracking down heavily on the smuggling, but this seems to have created other problems. According to this report, the cow smuggling syndicate had helped fuel the recent Basirhat riots. According to the report, the crackdown on cow smuggling has left a section of the Muslims (who earlier were earning handsomely) disgruntled, which culminated in them going on a rampage.