Five cattle smugglers who had allegedly shot at the 23-year-old Sonpal aka Sonu on 21st August, have been arrested. Sonu was shot by cow thieves after he tried to stop some butchers and smugglers trying to load a stolen pickup van.
According to police, five men were arrested and they all are believed to be involved in various other crimes as well. Superintendent of Police Manoj Sonkar said that one of the accused was previously booked for attempting to run over a sub-inspector by a cattle-laden vehicle in Shahjahanpur district three years ago.
On Sunday, the police had tried to stop down the vehicle of the accused near Lelhar-Bamrauli road. But, three members opened fire at the police officers. The police then chased down them and arrested them. The police searched the vehicle to recover a live cattle, country-made pistols and two-live cartridges.
During questioning the trio confessed to murdering Sonpal and also revealed the names of their two accomplices. The police later arrested them from Shahjahanpur district.
The accused have been identified as Raviulla, Ishtiaq, Mohammad Hasib, Farid and Menhadi Hassan. They are said to be repeat offenders and Hasib has 14 pending cases against him.
On 21 August, 23-year-old Sonpal hailed from Mohanpur Babura village was sleeping in his house when he found the cattle smugglers were trying to steal a calf. As he decided to confront the smugglers, the cow smugglers had shot him multiple times. A grievously injured Sonpal was then rushed to a hospital but unfortunately died along the way.
The Sonpal is, however, not the first such incident. Similar cases of gau rakshaks being killed trying to oppose the crime has previously also come to the fore. On July 31, a gau rakshak named Gopal had been killed after he was shot dead by a cattle smuggling gang. The incident occurred in a village near Palwal, Haryana.
On June 19, in a similar case, a person named Vikas Sharma, a resident of Natthu Colony, Ballabhgarh in Haryana was killed after he tried to stop the cattle smugglers. An FIR had been subsequently registered by the police against six persons identified as Arif (a resident of Utawad, Palwal), Tassi (a resident of Punhana), Subin (a resident of Dhauj), Teeman (a resident of Bibipur) and Tareef (a resident of Nuh).