Ranchi, June 27: A mischief-maker in Jharkhand allegedly slit the throat of a cow that had died of illness to create an impression that it had been killed, prompting a savage mob attack on a dairy owner whose life was saved by police who had to fire many shots.
Usman Ansari, the dairy owner, was badly injured in the attack in Giridih, around 300km from Ranchi.
The attack in the BJP-ruled state came close on the heels of the murder of a boy on a train in Haryana and amid continuing silence by the Prime Minister.
Jharkhand police appeared to have acted promptly this time. Unconfirmed sources put the number of bullets fired by the police at 80.
Tension ran high this afternoon when the carcass of the cow was found at Beria Haat. Some people suspected Usman, who runs a dairy in nearby Bhandara village.
A 100-strong group marched to the home of Usman, who is said to have served time in a murder case, and pounced on him. The police reached the spot in less than 30 minutes but the crowd had swelled to nearly 1,000.
"The police struggled for over two hours to rescue the man," said ADG (operations) R.K. Mallick. One Krishna Pandit was shot in the leg. It is not clear whether he was part of the crowd.
A police source said the cow belonged to the dairy owner and had died of illness. Before Usman could dispose of the carcass, the unidentified mischief-maker slit the cow's throat, the source added.