A mob set ablaze a truck alleging that cows and buffaloes were being illegally transported in the vehicle and tried to block the Jammu-Pathankot highway in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday. Police used batons and fired teargas shells to disperse the violent protesters, officials said here.
Tension prevailed in Hiranagar area after the incident in village Pathwal, and additional police personnel have been deployed there.
A group of people stopped the truck carrying eight cows and buffaloes in the village around 10:50 AM and set ablaze the vehicle after “rescuing” the animals, an official said.
According to police, the driver and the conductor of the vehicle abandoned it on noticing the mob and escaped.
It was not immediately clear whether the animals were being transported legally or not, but the protesters blocked the main road demanding stern action against the persons accusing them of bovine smuggling, the officials said.
A large contingent of police was rushed to the village to restore order but the protesters refused to disperse and also tried to block the Jammu-Pathankot highway near Dayalachak, after which the cops fired teargas shells and used batons to disperse them, an official said, adding two persons suffered minor injuries in the violence.
“The situation in the area is tense but under control,” the official said adding the traffic on the highway was going on smoothly.
A case was registered in this connection and further investigation is on, the officials said.
Kathua is about 80 km from Jammu.
Meanwhile, police in nearby Samba district arrested two alleged bovine smugglers and rescued 16 animals which were being transported illegally, a police spokesman said.
Amandeep Singh, a resident of Jammu, was arrested after police recovered 16 animals from his truck which was coming from Kathua side at Nonath on the highway, he said.
The spokesman said a case under relevant sections of law was registered against the arrested driver for transporting animals without permission.
In another such incident, he said police rescued three bovines from a Jammu-bound vehicle at Gujjar Basti Tanda during checking.
The driver, Abdul Majid, was arrested and a case was registered against him, the spokesman said.