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Sumit Jakhotia | HENB | Thane (Maharashtra) | Aug 28, 2016:: Five persons were today arrested for allegedly slaughtering three cows in Ambarnath in Thane district – some 50 kms from state capital Mumbai, police said.
The prime accused, along with his four accomplices, allegedly slaughtered three cows in the vicinity of his residence in the wee hours today, Police Inspector Balkrishna Wagh of Ambarnath Police Station told PTI.
The police have been able to identify all the five accused, all Muslims of the locality.
A case under section 429 (mischief by killing or maiming cattle) of the IPC and section 38(4) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 was registered, the officer said, adding investigations are underway.
The Thane police on Sunday morning arrested five people, including Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) member Yusuf Shaikh, for allegedly killing three cows at a slaughterhouse in Ambernath. Mr. Shaikh owns the slaughter house.
“They killed a cow. There were two other dead animals. We could not determine whether they were cows or buffaloes. The animals had been slaughtered,” said Balkrishna Wagh, inspector attached to Ambernath Police Station.
“One cow was about to be skinned when we reached the spot. We saved a one-month-old calf and a six-month-old bull, and moved them to a gaushala in Ulhasnagar,” said an official, adding that the animals had been slaughtered for their meat to be sold.
The five Muslim accused are — Shafi Ibrahim Qureshi (40), Riyaz Mohammed Shaikh (38), Azad Nizamuddin Qureshi (26), Sajjad Nizamuddin Qureshi (30) and Yousuf Shiekh (45). All will be produced in court on Monday.
It is told that the local Bajrang Dal activists gave the tip to nab the culprits as sources said.
However, the connection of Yousuf Shiekh (one of the accused) with MNS has been denied by MNS party leader Raju Patil. Patil told HENB that Mr. Shaikh had held the position of vice-president of the party’s Ambernath unit earlier, but he no longer held the post. MNS expelled Yousuf earlier for keeping stock of beef in his mutton shop, upon some allegations beforehand.
In May, the Bombay High Court had upheld the beef ban imposed by the State government after the enactment of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, banning the slaughter of bulls and bullocks, besides cows.
However, the High Court had struck down a few sections of the Act and stressed that mere possession of the meat cannot invite criminal action. However, the court had upheld that conscious possession of beef will still be punishable with a jail term of up to one year and will attract a fine of Rs. 2,000.
Challenging these enactments, some Thane-Mumbai based beef trader-dealer forums reached Supreme Court of India to challenge cow slaughter ban in Maharashtra very recently.
__Input from PTI and Agencies.