A farmer was murdered in the Barwala area of Hisar, Haryana on Sunday night by unidentified miscreants before the criminals proceeded to steal his livestock. The criminals had stolen two buffaloes and a calf.
The buffaloes were of the Murrah breed and belonged to the victim. The victim has been identified as Naresh, a 40-year-old resident of the area.
The victim’s brother has stated that Naresh was sleeping alone in a shelter in the leased farmland the night on the night of the murder. The next morning, he was found murdered by sharp-edged weapons and his cattle were missing. Based on his statement, the Police have lodged a case against unknown people under section 460 of the Indian Penal Code.
The dead body was discovered by one worker of the farm owner. He immediately reported the matter to the Police and informed the victim’s brother about the incident. The Police soon arrived at the scene of the crime and started their own investigation into the matter.
According to the relatives, the financial losses incurred by the family exceed 1 lakh rupees. They claim that a single Murrah buffalo could be easily sold for 50-60 thousand rupees. The calf, they claim, usually fetches 15-20 thousand rupees as well. Naresh’s family was greatly dependent on him for their livelihood. He was the father of 5 daughters and two sons. His murder has threatened the livelihood of his family as well.
Cattle theft is a huge problem in the country that leads to regular violence. There have been many cases where the cattle smugglers attack the farmers and even the police. Cattle smugglers have also been known to hurl bombs and attack people indiscriminately. The Indian state, thus far, has been ineffective at thwarting the menace.
While stray incidents where the farmers gang up to defend their livestock and end up taking the law in their hands get highlighted in the media, the widespread menace pf cattle smuggling and its devastating impact on farmers’ lives get largely ignored.