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24 held in MP for killing bovine animals, cops says conspiracy hatched to 'stoke communal violence'

Eight of the arrested accused are from Nagpur, where the conspiracy to kill these animals was hatched to whip up communal frenzy, the police said.
Last Updated : 28 June 2024, 17:08 IST

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Bhopal: Police have arrested 24 persons in connection with the killing of more than 60 bovine animals, including cows, in Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh last week, officials said on June 28.

Eight of the arrested accused are from Nagpur, where the conspiracy to kill these animals was hatched to whip up communal frenzy, the police said.

Carcasses of 18 cows with their necks slit were found in Vainganga river near Pindrai village in Seoni, while those of 28 cows and oxen were found in Kakartala forest area under Dhuma police station limits in the district on June 19 and 20. More such carcasses were found in the district later.

"Police have so far arrested a total of 24 persons in this connection. The accused persons were assigned the job of killing the bovine animals in return for money and local residents (of Seoni) were also found to be involved in the crime," a police official said.

"The Police Headquarters in Bhopal was also monitoring the case as the incident was aimed at disrupting the communal harmony, and it had directed its personnel to ensure the arrest of those involved in this inhuman act," he said.

During the probe, the police initially registered a case against the unidentified accused under the Madhya Pradesh Govansh Vadh Pratishedh Adhiniyam, 2004 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 in this regard, he said, adding that acting on the leads, the police first arrested Wahid Khan and his six associates.

During their questioning, they revealed that Khan made arrangements for the killing of bovine animals on the instructions of one Nagpur-based Israr Ahmed in exchange for a hefty amount of money, the official said.

Israr and his associates reached Seoni on June 17 and then they roped in Sana-ur-Rehman, Abdul Karim and Rafiq Khan also for the job by offering them money, he said.

The police arrested Israr and during his questioning, he told them that he had chalked out the plan to kill cows with the help of his associates.

After the carcasses of cows and oxen were found last week, it was suspected that these domestic animals were killed by smugglers amid stern action being taken by the police to curb the menace of cow smuggling in the district.

Seoni shares its border with Nagpur in Maharashtra where cow slaughter is forbidden by law like in Madhya Pradesh.

Inspector General of Police (Jabalpur zone) Anil Singh Kushwaha earlier said a total of 62 bovine animals - 19 cows and 43 oxen - were killed in Seoni.

Investigation suggested that slaughtering of these animals was aimed at whipping up communal frenzy, he said.

The police probe has revealed that Israr, a resident of Mominpura area in Nagpur, had paid Rs 30,000 as advance amount to the main accused Wahid Khan (28), against whom the National Security Act (NSA) has been invoked for gathering the bovine animals in Seoni, according to Kushwaha.

Late Saturday night, the MP government shunted out Seoni collector Kshitij Singhal and SP Rakesh Kumar Singh following the recovery of animal carcasses.

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Published 28 June 2024, 17:08 IST

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