Killing of cow protection activist ignites riots

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2013: (Actually published on October 8,  2013)

Vikrant Singh Yadav,  25,  a bank clerk in Khwaspur village,  Haryana state,  India,  was killed on August 25,  2013 while chasing a truck believed to be driven by cattle rustlers who were taking cows to be illegally slaughtered.

Police and the local cow protection society Gae Bachao Samiti had reportedly been tipped that the rustlers were hauling cattle.  Yadav trailed the alleged rustlers’ truck on a motorcycle,  with other Gae Bachao Samiti members following in a car.  After police waved the truck through a checkpoint but briefly detained Yadev,  he resumed the pursuit at high speed.  He apparently caught the truck,  but was then either run over or hacked to death with an unidentified weapon,  according to conflicting accounts.  The truck drivers escaped.  

Irate villagers blocked the Delhi-Jaipur railway and the Gurgaon-Pataudi highway for seven hours.  The blockade ended after six police officers were suspended for alleged dereliction of duty.

Word of Yadav’s death reportedly helped to incite riots in at least three other Haryana communities.  A mob reportedly stopped 15 truckloads of cattle near Pataudi,  unloaded the animals,  then burned the vehicles.  Nine trucks were burned near Khandewla village and six near Jatoli, Haryana deputy police commissioner Rahul Sharma told media.

Twenty-five trucks hauling 200 stray cattle rounded up by city officials in Chandigarh were also stopped by mobs who believed the cows were going to slaughter.  The cows were actually en route to the Shree Mataji Gaushala in Uttar Pradesh,  officials said––but some cows had died aboard the trucks.  Violence was averted in that incident,  but erupted again on August 30,  2013 at Dharuhera after an overturned truck reportedly spilled beef and cow hides.  Rioters there torched the Dharuhera police post and 65 vehicles,  including police vans and buses.

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