Gujarat: One held on suspicion of ‘cattle theft’ after tip-off from vigilante group

The Indian Express | 1 month ago | 05-07-2022 | 05:50 am

Gujarat: One held on suspicion of ‘cattle theft’ after tip-off from vigilante group

Valsad police arrested a scrap merchant in Dhimsa Kakariya village of Umargam taluka on Sunday on allegations of suspected cattle theft ahead of the festival of Bakri eid, after receiving a tip-off from a cow vigilante group, Agniveer Gau Sewa Dal.The arrested individual, Zakir Shaikh, was booked under different sections of Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, after two adult cows and six younger ones were found tied in a small room in his house. Shaikh told cops he kept the cows as a hobby. Members of the vigilante group accompanied police on their visit to Shaikh’s house.In another incident on Sunday, Umargam police and Agniveer Gau Sewa Dal gave a chase to a car allegedly loaded with cattle. The occupants abandoned their vehicle near Dhimsa Kakariya village and escaped into the nearby forest.Police seized the car and registered offences against the driver of the car and others under various sections of Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act.In the third such incident on Sunday, police chased a car allegedly loaded with cattle from Bhilad village in Umargam taluka. The driver drove to neighbouring Talsari district in Maharashtra, abandoned the vehicle loaded with two cows and escaped from the spot. Umargam police contacted Talasari police and handed the seized cattles and car to them. Talasari police have registered offence in this connection, against the car drivers under different sections of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.These arrests and seizures comes as Bakri Eid is days away. Last week police established 17 checkpoints in Valsad and started keeping a strict vigil to prevent incidents of cattle theft by different gangs operating out of Maharashtra as the festival nears.Umargam borders Palghar district of Maharashtra. Valsad district has been witnessing cattle theft incidents by organised cattle thieves gangs from Bhiwandi in Thane district.The cattle seized from Shaikh’s house and from the abandoned vehicle has been sent to a panjrapole run by a private trust in Umargam.Agniveer Gau Sewa Dal, the cow vigilante group which has been providing information to police on alleged cattle theft and accompanying them during raids and arrests, claim that gangs operating out of Maharashtra’s Bhiwandi have been long involved in cattle theft in the area.Agniveer Gau Sewa Dal of Valsad vice president Umesh Rajpurohit said, “Since long, the professional gangs of Bhiwandi are involved in the theft of cattle from Umargam taluka. They use two or three cars are for patrolling and one car is used to keep cattles. Their patrolling cars first make rounds on the road and identify the cattles, later they make a round in the nearby area to spot cops or Gaurakshaks and later they steal the cattle. They also carry stones in the patrolling cars as when we chase them in the vehicles they throw stones on us or on our vehicles, in a bid to escape.”Talking to the Indian Express Valsad District Superintendent of police Rajdeepsinh Zala said, “We have till date arrested around five notorious cattle thieves gangs of Bhiwandi in Maharashtra for their involvement in the cattle thefts in Valsad, in last six months. There are many more gangs operational in Bhiwandi. The cars used by them are stolen ones. They fix the duplicate number plate of Maharashtra and after entering in Gujarat border, they fix the duplicate number plate of Gujarat registration.”“They identify the cattles on the roadside or grazing in the fields. The gang members give bread mixed with some chemicals to cows and later give them injection to make them unconscious. Later they lift cows in the car and escape. The gang sells the stolen cows to butchers in Maharashtra,” he added.

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