The popular perception about the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh is that instead of protecting the cow from its killer, it is more interested in shielding the latter. It is even changing the meat samples taken in front of the crowd.
On September 9, a daring and dutiful sub-inspector of UP Police, Manoj Mishra was gunned down by bovine smugglers in Faridpur PS of Bareilly District. After an apparent lull of a few days, there is business as usual. Luxury cars with untraceable Delhi number-plates are carrying beef on highways. Covered trucks full of cows and oxen are being smuggled to unknown destinations. Firing on a police party also recurred on 28-29 September.
The popular perception about the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh is that instead of protecting the cows from their killers, it is more interested in shielding the latter. Police record related to crime against cows in Western Uttar Pradesh reveal that during the current year (2015), Agra District had 20 FIRs and the police sent a notorious cow-killer Banarasi Khan to jail. Ferozabad saw 12 cases all under the PCA Act, 268 oxen and cows were released while 22 accused were sent to jail. Mainpuri witnessed a communal conflagration in its Karhal Town recently wherein people beat up a number of alleged cow-killers. In this district 19 cases were registered, 41 persons sent to jail and 461 cows released from animal smugglers. The police also confiscated 90 quintals of beef in Bhogaon. Thirty-six cases were registered in the nearby Etah. About two dozen people have been taken into custody while more than three dozens are absconding. Etah is fast emerging as an export centre for beef. Here 34 trucks and vans were detained full of beef this year. Moradabad has been witnessing cow-slaughter on a big scale. Cases are booked only under pressure of public agitation. There were 72 reported cases in which 56 alleged cow-killers have been nabbed under the Gangsters Act. In Sambhal, 505 bovine smugglers have been jailed this year. In Rampur, 97 cases have been registered in which 175 arrests have been made. Investigations are on in 35 cases, the rest are in the courts. In Amroha, two persons were nabbed carrying cow skins in Kuankheda Village under Bachhrayun police station last month. A total of 22 cases of animal smuggling have been booked and 13 sent to jail this year.
The most notorious city Meerut has been witness to massive police cover-ups in the matter. As a result only 5 cases have been booked so far and 14 persons were sent to jail. Eight cases of illegal animal killing have also been registered. In Baghpat, the number of cases and persons sent to jail were 21 and 52 respectively this year. Bulandshahar had 4 cases booked during 6 months. Besides, 28 cases of cow-smuggling were registered. In Hapur, 70 cases of smuggling were booked and more than 250 cow-smugglers were incarcerated. 12 cases of cow-slaughter were also reported in which 28 have been nabbed. There have been two cases in Shamli and 8 in Kairana.
Jaarcha, Bisrakh, Dankaur and Jevar—all near Noida have become hot spots known for cow slaughters and smugglers. And despite this, a meager 12 FIRs have been registered during the long period of 2 years. In Ghaziabad, the police, as an unwritten rule, book FIRs only under the PCA Act although most cases relate to cow.
According to Joint Director of Veterinary Forensic Laboratory, Mathura, 87 meat samples sent by the police only from Meerut during the last 3 years have been found to contain beef. As for the whole State of UP, more than 4,000 samples have been found to contain beef during the last 5 years. It means that about 800 samples that are sent by the police to the lab for examination every year contain beef. According to the information provided by the lab, during the last 3 years more than 10,000 quintals of beef was impounded. This is a serious situation. But the State police is doing everything to whittle down these statistics. It is even changing the meat sample taken in front of the crowd with the assurance that stringent action would be taken if the sample turns out to be beef.
—Ajay Mittal in Meerut