Bhopal: Cow vigilantes on Saturday set a truck carrying chicken feed on fire, and beat up the owner of the vehicle suspecting that it was carrying beef, at Zhora village, 40 km from Bhopal. Following the incident, Bablu Thakur (22) and Gaurav Thakur (24) were arrested, local police inspector HC Ladiya told to media.
"We have lodged case against 15 persons. Two were arrested and the rest are being identified," he said. Asked to comment on media reports that said the accused were Bajrang Dal workers, Mr Ladiya said he did not know about it. "We are going to take tough action in the case," he added.
The truck, carrying raw chicken feed, was headed for Manpur in Uttar Pradesh when it developed a snag at Zhora village. Its owner Rajesh Jain, resident of Dholpur in Rajasthan, asked his driver to fetch a mechanic, the inspector said.
But the strong stench due to dry animal bones and organs like intestines used in the preparation of chicken feed, attracted the attention of some locals. They suspected that the truck was carrying beef out of Bhopal and knocked on its door. Mr Jain, who was sleeping in the cabin, got down from the other side. The crowd got hold of him and bashed him.
Within minutes, kerosene was brought, poured on the truck and it was set on fire, inspector Mr Ladiya said. A patrolling police jeep reached the spot about the same time and alerted the Bairasia police station and the fire brigade.
Police rushed there along with fire tenders and swiftly brought the situation under control, Mr Ladiya said. The fire only damaged cabin of the truck before it was put out and Mr Jain had been slapped only once and did not sustain injury, he added.
"We have booked the accused under sections 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 323 (voluntary causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation), 427 (mischief) and 436 (mischief caused by fire and explosive) and other sections of IPC," the inspector added.