Nothing deters vigilantes from harassing people transporting animals duly complying with the law.
An NDTV team launched an investigation into the campaign going on across the country in the name of ‘Cow Protection’ by a bunch of vigilantes. The objective was to investigate as to how the whole campaign is being carried out in Maharashtra. It was led by channel reporter Srinivasan Jain who took his colleague Sanjay Mandal to pose as the helper of the truck. They loaded a buffalo on the truck. The truck was fitted with secret cameras.
It may be recalled that there is a ban on killing of cow in the State for the last three years. When BJP-Shiv Sena government took over the reins of power in the state, even calf and oxen were also added under the banned categories. However, the buffaloes can be slaughtered if they are certified as incapable of yielding milk or are infertile.
The team procured all the necessary documents such as papers required under Motor Vehicles Act and certificates by Veterinary doctors verifying the age of buffaloes stating that they were neither yielding milk nor capable of bearing calves. The truck started from Pune and was stopped by the Gau Rakshaks near the Sasawad village an hour later.
The gau rakshaks asked the driver to get down and took the truck to a police station. Even before the investigation, the Police began to believe the account given by the vigilantes who identified themselves as members of Hindu Aghadi, and alleged that the truck had oxen too, but the truck driver let them loose as soon as it was intercepted by the activist. The vigilantes told the police officer that one Prashuram Modak, who calls himself an associate of the BJP on his facebook account, informed them about the cattle being transported by the truck. The truck was being trailed by the NDTV reporter at a distance.
When asked by the NDTV reporter whether it was all right for vigilantes to take the law into their hands and stop the vehicles and take away the cattle, the policeman on duty said the vigilantes only provided the information. But when asked pointedly as to why a case cannot be filed against persons who were unauthorisedly stopping the vehicle, beating up the persons in the truck, snatching the cell phone and evicting the driver, the cop asked him to wait for the officer. The constable on duty was stumped by the query and asked the team to wait for the officer. Following this, a case was filed under Animals Violation Act, charging the driver not for killing the animals but for depriving the animals of fodder and water. Meanwhile, the vigilantes themselves were found engaged in writing the FIR documents while sitting in the police station.
The NDTV report only confirms what has been going on in the name of cow protection and as to how the vigilantes take the law into their hands with the connivance of the police.
The TV report made it apparent that the police was acting in a partisan way in order to please the political bosses allowing a free rein to the vigilantes even while claiming themselves to be non-partisan.
(Transcribed from NDTV News Channel footage)