Bajrang Dal member caught smuggling cows in Karnataka

Shashi Kumar and Abdul Haris had also allegedly modified the body of the truck to make it resemble a vehicle transporting construction material.


Shashi Kumar

Shashi Kumar               Image Courtesy: The Hindu
Karnataka: In an embarrassing episode for Bajrang Dal, their own member was found smuggling cows on Friday in Karnataka, that too after the group and Vishwa Hindu Paishad (VHP) staged a protest against illegal transportation of cows on Thursday in Mangluru, Karnataka.
“In a release, Ravikanthe Gowda, Superintendent of Police of Dakshina Kannada, said that 48-year-old Shashi Kumar, son of Krishna Bhat of Padaru village near Vitla in Bantwal taluk, was the arrested. He is a Bajrang Dal activist. Along with him, the police also arrested Abdul Harris, 21, son of Mohammed of Kolandu village in the same taluk. On a tip-off, Vitla police sub-inspector Nagaraj H.E. and his team stopped a mini-truck at the Kadambu junction near Vitla Padnur around 11 p.m. on Thursday. They found in the vehicle four cows and a calf, all tied together,” The Hindu reported.
What’s more, according to the police, a Bajrang Dal activist tipped them off on the matter.
“They said the accused did not have any documents for transporting cattle. They had also allegedly modified the body of the truck to make it resemble a vehicle transporting construction material. The police said Harris was involved in a few criminal cases, including one of cattle theft in Alike in Bantwal taluk earlier. He also has cases registered against him at the Konaje police station in Mangaluru,” the report said.
The value of the cattle and vehicle is estimated at Rs. 5 lakh.
“The duo have been charged under appropriate sections of the Animal Act and Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, along with Section 379 (theft) of the IPC. It was found that the car was modified in a way that it’s body could be raised. One of the accused, Shashikumar, happens to be a Bajrang Dal member as well,” a police official at Bantwal police station told The News Minute.
“Protection of cows is a priority for the Bajrang Dal since the group has held several agitations in the district seeking stricter laws to stop the illegal transportation of cows. On Thursday, the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) held a protest, and Bajrang Dal convenor for South Karnataka, Sharan Pumpwell had reportedly asked Muslim leaders to issue a fatwa against those involved in illegal cow slaughter and theft,” the report said.
Meanwhile, the same Vishwa Hindu Parishad zonal secretary and former State president of Bajrang Dal Sharan Pumpwell claimed that Kumar was not associated with the Bajrang Dal, the VHP or any other right-wing outfit. “He alleged that the police have linked him with the Bajrang Dal only to bring disrepute to the organisation,” The Hindu reported.
Many Bajrang Dal activists were involved in the recent attack on Swami Agnivesh. The main accused in Gauri Lankesh’s murder is also a Bajrang Dal member.

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