Two of the cattle herders who were arrested on Wednesday.
Picture by Animesh Sengupta
Five persons were injured when a group of around 50 men attacked them near MGM Medical College, close to Dimna Chowk, in Jamshedpur on Wednesday morning.
Sources said those attacked on Wednesday were part of a gang of cattle smugglers who were trying to sneak in as many as 500 livestock into the city. Two of the injured — identified as Mango residents Mahtab Alam and Jamshed Alam — had to be admitted to MGM Medical College and Hospital for treatment, while others were released after first aid.
MGM police had earlier arrested 14 people and charged them with trying to smuggle cattle, in violation of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The police had then also seized the livestock.
Speaking to The Telegraph from his hospital bed, Jamshed said they had brought the cattle from a weekly fair in Bengal’s Purulia district. They had employed some herders to get the cattle to Jamshedpur, a distance of 80km from Purulia, by road.
“We were told in the morning that the police had seized our cattle and arrested 14 herders. Hence, we launched a hunt for them at various police stations. We finally stumbled upon them at an enclosure near MGM Medical College,” Jamshed said.
He added that he then mobilised a group of around 40 people to go talk to the police and get their livestock released.
However, once in front of the medical college, they were suddenly attacked by a mob of 50, who assaulted and chased them away from the spot.
“The attack was sudden. When we tried to protest they roughed us up and thrashed us with sticks. We were then chased away from the spot,” Mahtab said.
While Mahtab landed withbruises on his head and left leg, Jamshed received a wound on his right leg. The others were released after first aid.
MGM police sub-inspector Ratibhan Singh said they had made the arrests on the basis of a complaint of illegal cattle trade.
“We were acting on a complaint filed by one Ashok Kumar Dubey, an inspector with Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, east Singhbhum chapter,” Singh said.
He, however, denied knowledge of any incident of an attack and had launched a probe into the matter.
The seized cattle meanwhile were sent to a cattle-shelter house at Parsudih’s Kaliabera.