Cow vigilantism

Odisha: Mob sets truck on fire in Ganjam district after suspecting that it carried beef

The protestors had blocked NH-16 for more than 90 minutes after a packet that allegedly contained cow meat fell out of the vehicle.

A mob on Sunday set a truck on fire in Odisha’s Ganjam district after suspecting that it was carrying beef. The accused are believed to be activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal, reported the Hindustan Times.

The truck was travelling from West Bengal to Maharashtra when the driver lost control of the vehicle and it overturned near Golanthara village, The Hindu reported. The driver and his companions then fled from the spot after the vehicle fell into a pond near NH-16.

The police reached the spot and tried to take the truck out of the water with a crane. At that time, a packet fell out of the vehicle, and local residents alleged that it contained beef, PTI reported. The mob then set the vehicle on fire and protested along the highway, blocking it for more than 90 minutes.

“We will examine the contents of the packet to ascertain whether it was beef,” Sub Divisional Police Officer Berhampur Sadar Ashok Kumar Mohanty told PTI.

An investigation has been launched to identify the owner of the vehicle and to locate the driver and the others who fled the spot after the accident.

Cow slaughter is prohibited in the state under the Odisha Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1960. The punishment includes imprisonment up to two years, or a fine up to Rs 1,000, or both.

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