The supposed recovery of 150 kg of cow meat led to pressure in a village in west UP bringing back disturbing memories of another incident in this area in which a Muslim man was beaten to death by a mob on September 9 last year following rumours that his family had stored and eaten beef.
In the latest incident, tension prevailed in Gauspur village of Baghpat district after police recovered over 150 kg of meat from a butcher’s house in Singhavali police station area. Police asserted they detained the meat following a tip-off about cow slaughter in the house.
Bajrang Dal workers turned up in large numbers at the house and staged a protest. However, police and local authorities prevented the situation from getting out of hand.
The police have lodged an FIR against five persons under the Uttar Pradesh Cow Slaughter Prevention Act, though there is no official confirmation yet about the meat being that of a cow. The accused include a 60-year-old woman, the head of the household. The meat has been sent for laboratory test.
The police have arrested the woman, Wakeela, and a neighbourhood youth, Talib from the house. Three others including Wakeela’s son Nazim and his friends Monu and Sonu managed to run away from the spot, the police asserted.
Additional SP, Baghpat, Aziz-ul Haq said that the district veterinary officer checked the meat and said “it was of cow or its progeny”.
The meat sample, he said, had been sent for a laboratory test to get an authentic report.A mob led by local Bajrang Dal leaders reached the Muslim-dominated village and raised slogans in opposition to cow slaughter following which heavy police force has been deployed to maintain order, circle officer, Baghpat, Karamveer Singh.
The SHO (station house officer) of the Singhavali police station Satish Chandra said a local court had sent Talib to judicial custody while Wakeela was granted bail on grounds of health from the police station against two securities of Rs 50,000 each.
The SHO said they were tipped off on Tuesday afternoon about a stolen cow being slaughtered in a house at Gauspur village following which they had conducted the raid.
Seeing the police, three persons managed to escape by scaling the boundary wall of the house, while Wakeela and Talib were caught.
The police recovered around 150 kg of the meat from the place, added the SHO. Recovered blood-stained butcher knives lying nearby.
As the news spread, a mob from adjoining villages led by Bajrang Dal workers gathered outside Wakeela’s house. They raised slogans against cow slaughter and demanded arrest of the accused who were absconding.
Bajrang Dal district convener, Vinod Khindaura said, “We reached the village after we got to know about beef being recovered from this house. We staged a protest but called it off after senior officers assured us of strict action against the culprits.”
As per the UP Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act (1955), beef eating is not a crime in the state, only cow slaughter is. “Beef means flesh of cow but does not include such flesh contained in sealed containers and imported as such into UP.