Twenty persons have died in the last one year at the hands of cattle thieves. They are farmers, policemen and saadhus. These deaths have occurred in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
The beef mafia is thriving. And innocent people are dying. There is no outrage either on social media or in the main stream media on these deaths. The international media is unconcerned.
Around 10 days ago, a farmer in Haryana was brutally killed by unidentified cattle thieves. They escaped with his three buffaloes after hacking him with an axe. And now, a youth named Gopal has been killed by cattle thieves in the same state for trying to stop their vehicle carrying stolen cattle.
Naresh and Gopal are just two names in a long and ever-expanding list of people who have been killed by the beef mafia. Newspaper reports show that at least 20 people have lost their lives --- some while resisting theft of their cattle, others for tipping off the police about illegal slaughter activities and yet others were run over by speeding vehicles ferrying stolen cattle.
These are deaths no one cares about. They are the victims of the illegal beef industry.
1. July 2019: Villager Shot Dead By Cattle Thieves
A man named Gopal was reportedly shot dead on 29 July in Haryana’s Palwal district. Gopal was, as per reports, trying to stop a vehicle carrying stolen cattle when the thieves shot at him. The incident allegedly happened around 7.30pm.
2. July 2019: Farmer Naresh Saini Killed At His Farm After Midnight
A farmer, Naresh Saini, was found hacked to death on his farm on the morning of 21 July 2019. Saini’s two buffaloes and a calf were missing, pointing the needle of suspicion at cattle thieves. The incident happened in Barwala village of Hisar district in Haryana.
Just 10 kilometres away in Sahu village, another farmer named Inderpal Bishnoi was shot dead by cattle thieves a year ago. Five men named Farman, Faizan, Ehsaan, Afzal and Usman are undergoing trial for the murder; the police say they were taking cattle for slaughter around 3am when Bishnoi had tried to catch them.
3. July 2019: Farmer Devilal Killed In His House In The Night
In Dabra town of Madhya Pradesh, 53-year-old Devilal Batham, a farmer and a guard, was killed on his farm when he resisted cattle theft in the night. The thieves reportedly stuffed his mouth with sand and assaulted him with an axe. They also escaped with his buffaloes. It was later reported that police arrested six men --- Monu Khan, Amjad Khan, Ishtiaq, Munabbar Khan, Wahid and Ramniwas --- for the crime.
4. January 2019: Retired Army Man-Farmer, Killed In His House In The Night
In Ghanshyampur area of Bihar’s Bakhtiyarpur, thieves entered the house of retired Army man, Naval Singh, around 2.30am. They had already stolen about half a dozen cattle from the area and stopped by at Singh’s to steal his buffalo. Singh managed to catch hold of one thief, but the accomplice shot Singh dead. Singh’s nephew, Chandan sustained grievous injuries.
5. January 2019: Seven Of A Family Crushed Under The Vehicle Of Cattle Thieves
A speeding truck, loaded with smuggled cattle rammed into a hut on the Uttar Pradesh-Bihar border, leading to the deaths of seven members of a family, namely Ramkishan, Suhagin, Golu, Nisha, Moni, Molu and Sama devi. Only one member, Kallu Ram, survived the horrific crash, as he was sleeping elsewhere.
The incident happened in Maldah village of UP’s Chandauli district; the truck was headed towards Bihar. While the truck driver managed to flee, he left the vehicle behind in which cattle were stuffed and inhumanely tied up.
6. January 2019: Policeman Run Over By Cattle Thieves
A truck carrying 12 bullocks reportedly mowed down a police constable when he tried to stop it. The incident happened in Chandrapur, in Maharashtra. Prakash Meshram, the cop, gestured at the vehicle to stop but the cattle smugglers sped up and ran over him.
Meshram died on the spot. Two people in the truck --- Imtiaz Ahmed Fayyaz Ahmed and Mohammad Raza Abdul Jabbar Qureshi --- were arrested while two others managed to flee.
7. November 2018: Farmer Akbar Ali Killed In His House
On the intervening night of November 14 and 15, thieves entered the house of Akbar Ali and, threatening the family using a pistol, tried to flee with his cattle. Ali resisted and screamed for help, prompting villagers to gather at the spot.
The thieves opened fire, killing Akbar and injuring two villagers. The crowd caught hold of one of the thieves, Noor Ali, while the other managed to escape. The incident happened in Jalalabad of Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur district.
8. September 2018: Policeman Hit By The Vehicle Of Cattle Thieves, Dies
A police constable reportedly died when he was trying to catch cattle smugglers near Fatehganj West Toll Plaza in Bareilly. The cop, Sanjiv Gurjar, was acting on a tip-off that cattle smugglers were moving on Rampur Road.
When the cop got the vehicle to stop and was getting out of his car to confront the driver, the vehicle driver turned his vehicle onto the cop; the vehicle hit the cop killing him instantly. Another cop, Manoj Mishra, had died at the hands of cattle thieves in 2015 in the same area. A cattle smuggler named Jafruddin was arrested for Mishra’s murder.
9. August 2018: Three Temple Sadhus Killed For Tipping Off Police
On the morning of 15 August 2018, three resident sadhus at a centuries-old Shiva temple in Kudarkot village of Uttar Pradesh’s Auraiya district were found in a pool of blood. Their hands and legs were tied to their cots and there were multiple stab wounds on their necks and other body parts.
The police arrested five men --- Salman, Nadeem, Shahzad, Najeem and Jabbar – from the adjoining 'kasaayi mohalla'. The killers told the police they carried out the barbaric murders in revenge as the sadhus had tipped off the police about their illegal cow smuggling and slaughtering activities.
10. August 2018: Policemen Crushed Under Vehicle Of Cattle Thieves
In Uttar Pradesh’s Hardoi district, cattle thieves reportedly crushed two cops under their vehicle. One of the cops, Vipin Kumar gestured to stop their vehicle carrying cattle. When they didn’t stop, he and another cop named Sumer began to chase them on a motorcycle.
The cattle thieves reduced speed as a ploy and when the cops overtook them, they revved up and crushed them both to death. The police have arrested the truck drivers, Zeeshan and Mumtyaz.
11. January 2018: Farmer Jogendra Killed In His House
In Ughaiti village of Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun district, cattle thieves entered the house of Gajraj around 12.00am midnight. His sons, Jogendra and Sarvesh, woke up and resisted the theft but the thieves shot at the brothers. Jogendra, an under-graduate student, died of the wounds he sustained while the thieves managed to flee. A report by Dainik Jagran a week later said the police had made no headway in the case.
All in all twenty lives have been lost to the beef mafia in the last one year. While in some cases the perpetrators have been arrested, in many others investigations are still going on. Cattle smuggling is taking a toll on innocent lives. It is time for the government to take a tough decision to checkmate them.