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Punjab: 13 including Rohingya refugees arrested for cattle smuggling, prime accused Imran Qureshi absconding, wore tilak and saffron gamchas to hide identities

When the accused travelled in their vehicles to transport the cow meat, they wore Tilaks on their foreheads and draped saffron-coloured Gamchhas so that in case they were caught they would come across as Hindus.

On Sunday, August 6, the Jalandhar (Rural) police raided the premises of a factory in Dhogri and arrested 13 persons involved in illegal cattle smuggling and trade. Twenty-five quintals of beef were also recovered from the factory during the raid.

Imran Qureshi, the prime accused in the case is still at large. According to reports, out of the 13 arrested accused, 12 are purportedly illegal Rohingya refugees who came here from West Bengal and one accused is from Bihar.

SP Mukhwinder Bhullar said, “Thirteen people were arrested from the factory and as per their IDs, they are residents of West Bengal.”

Reportedly, when the accused travelled in their vehicles to transport the cow meat, they wore Tilaks on their foreheads and draped saffron-coloured Gamchhas (scarves) around their necks so that in case they were caught they would come across as Hindus.

Reports further suggest that when the raid was carried out by the police, the watchman of the factory ran away from the spot by closing the gate. When the gate did not open for a long time, the police entered the factory by jumping over the wall. Thirteen people were caught on the spot while some people fled as soon as they got the information about the raid.

The accused were apprehended following a complaint by Satish Kumar, president, All-India Gau Dal. The complainant had alleged that packaging and smuggling of beef was taking place on the factory premises.

Based on the complaint, the police registered an FIR against 16 persons including factory owner Imran Qureshi, Parvesh Qureshi, Azam Qureshi, Muzaffar Islam and 12 others at the Adampur police station in Jalandhar. The accused have been booked under Sections 295-A, 153-A and 120-B of the IPC and Sections 5 and 8 of the Punjab Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955.

Imran Qureshi and his aides hid their identity by sporting Tilaks and carrying saffron scarfs

In his complaint to the police, Satish Kumar alleged that the factory called Neha Toka, which had been closed earlier, had been rented to Imran Qureshi, a resident of Meerut a few months ago.

Kumar alleged that cows were being brought from other parts of the country to the factory and slaughtered elsewhere. Here, the cow meat was packed and stored in big freezers.

After packing, Imran and his aides loaded the beef in trucks and covered it with vegetables. They then supplied it to various places in and around Punjab, including Delhi. The meat was also exported to Gulf countries. According to reports, the accused have so far exported 200 quintals of cow meat to various Gulf countries.

The accused, reportedly sported Tilaks and carried saffron-coloured Gamchhas (scarfs) around their necks when they travelled in their vehicles to consummate the crime, in order to hide their real identity.

The police investigating the case said that Imran Qureshi had rented the factory which has been shut for a long time and hired illegal Bangladeshi immigrants from West Bengal to carry out the task.

According to the authorities, Imran Qureshi’s father Bablu Qureshi was a cattle smuggler who operated illegally in Bihar. In fact, on August 7, 2022, the Bihar police filed an FIR against was filed against him and his two sons, Imran and Azam Qureshi, for cow slaughter and illicit trade of cattle in Bihar. Before their crime was exposed, the father and sons had been operating their illicit business out of a factory they had rented in Gaya, Bihar, for two years. When their factory in Bihar was shut down, they came to Punjab and started their illegal business here.

Meanwhile, after the news of the illegal cow smuggling factory in the Dhogri district in Jalandhar, Punjab surfaced, several enraged members of Hindu organizations led by Gau Sewa Mission Adhyaksh (president) Swami Krishnanand blocked the Pathankot highway demanding strict action against the perpetrators. They protested against the Punjab government for doing nothing to stop the rising cases of indiscriminate cow slaughter in the area. 

DSP of Adampur reached the spot after getting information about the protest. He spoke to the Hindus and assured them of prompt and strict action against the culprits only after which the protestors dispersed.

A number of BJP leaders also criticised the AAP-led Punjab government, saying it is a matter of great shame that the administration was not even aware that cows were being slaughtered in the Toka factory and that cow meat was being illegally transported to various states in India and exported to Gulf nations.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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