Villagers set on fire 2 Tavera vehicles smuggling bovines

Excelsior Correspondent
RAJOURI, Dec 3: Irate villagers set on fire two Tavera vehicles near Sailsui in Kalakote area when the smugglers were carrying bovine animals in these passenger vehicles to Kashmir via Mughal Road today and also held strong protest demonstration against police and blocked road for over four hours.
Reports said some villagers at Dyala village near Sailsui noticed back seats of  Tavera vehicles folded and cattle packed inside on Kalakote-Rajouri road.  They raised alarm and started chasing vehicles at around 9 am. Some youth also started chasing these vehicles. Some people also passed on message to  Kalakote police. The smugglers sped away and also broke one naka. The youth contacted people at next village to raised barricades to stop these vehicles. A large number of people with lathis and a few with fire arms gathered on the road and blocked it with big stones and logs.
When the vehicles reached there, one of the driver diverted to Kothian-Panda link roads while the other was stopped. The people pulled out the three smugglers and started beating with lathis and blows. They set on fire vehicle JK01B/9009 and way laid the smugglers and thrashed  them till they started bleeding. They found three unconscious cattle  in the vehicle tied and packed mercilessly in the small space by folding rear seats to dodge police and general public.
By the meantime, the smugglers in vehicle No. JK04C/1309 abandoned it on link road and started running away. The chasing villagers managed to nab two persons while the third one was captured after a hot chase of nearly two kms from nearby nallah. They all were beaten up with lathis, kicks and blows. Some of the violent youth decided to burn these smugglers alive by pouring fuel from their vehicles but some elderly persons prevented them to do so. The youth however, burnt the second vehicle too, before the police reached there. The police then rescued the smugglers who were severely beaten up by the mob and had left nearly half dead. All the five cattle were rescued by the people and were not handed over to police. They were unconscious and later Veterinary team was called at the spot.  However, the police led by SHO Kalakote took all the six arrested smugglers into custody.
They were identified as Mohd Shrief, son of Mohd Mirza, resident of Talab Tillo Jammu, Mohd Salim, son of Mohd Musa, resident of Makhanpur near Jammu, Mohd Asif Bhat, son of Abdul Ghani Bhat from Lal Chowk Srinagar, Mehrajuddin, son of Ghulam Ahmed, Nazir Ahmed, son of Ghulam Agmed and Umar Imtiaz, son of Mohd Suban, all resident of Beerwah in Budgam.
Later, people from  nearby villages in large number assembled at the spot and started massive protest demonstration at around 10 am. They shouted slogans against Rajouri police and alleged that police was facilitating bovine smuggling on the directions of their bosses. They alleged how, this vehicle reached Sailsui from Jammu side after crossing so many police nakas. They alleged that about three weeks earlier  a passenger vehicle carrying bovines to Kashmir was captured by people near Rajouri despite assurance by DC and SSP Rajouri nothing has been done in that case and no accused could be traced till today. The senior police officers hesitated to face the wrath of people and they stayed away till long during violent protests. Tehsildar Mohd Nawaz and SDM Bal Krishan later reached there from Kalakote and gave assurance to the people to take up the matter at higher level. The road remained blocked till 1.30 pm and a large number of vehicles stranded for hours together.
Meanwhile, a police spokesman from Rajouri issuing contradictory statement claimed that police nabbed six smugglers and seized a Tavera vehicle and rescued five bovine animals in Potha area of Kalakote today. He said that police party led by SHO Kalakote Surinder Khandyal under the supervision of ASP Nowshera, Rakesh Kumar during naka checking at Potha Tavera seized vehicle No. JK-04C/1309 and rescued five bovine animals which were being smuggled to Kashmir via Mughal Road from Kalakote side.
The spokesman further claimed that on receiving information people from one community also gathered there and started protest and then they set on fire two Tavera vehicles. “SHO Kalakote immediately rushed to the spot and tackled the situation with fortitude and pacified the protesters. A case FIR No. 63/2015 stand registered against the smugglers,” the spokesman said.

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