A mob accompanying people allegedly transporting cows for slaughter on Saturday attacked a group of cow vigilantes (gau rakshaks) in Shrigonda in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district, after they helped police apprehend the cow smugglers.
On Saturday evening, seven cow vigilantes in Shrigonda in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district spotted a mini truck allegedly carrying a dozen cows for slaughter and informed the police.
Trouble started soon after Shishankar Swami (25), an activist from Pune, approached Shrigonda police after they discovered the transportation of cows.
Police intercepted the vehicle near Shrigonda and took it to the police station. Twelve cows were found in the mini truck. Police registered offences against the driver Fatturbhai Shaikh and his helper Sajid Gulkab Shaikh.
Swami insisted upon registering a case against the arrested two, which angered their supporters. Police asked them to wait till senior officials arrived at the station. A mob supporting the cow smugglers attacked Swami and others who were waiting outside the police station.
According to the complaint, the mob attacked seven gau rakshaks with sticks and stones.
The seven were bleeding heavily when they were taken to the hospital for treatment, police said. They were shifted to Ahmednagar for further medical treatment.
The Ahmednagar police detained around 20 people in connection with the attack on `gau rakshaks.' Police also beefed up security in Shrigonda and few other places after the incident.
Swami is a known activist of Akhil Bharat Krushi Gosewa Sangh, founded by Mahatma Gandhi. Swami has intercepted vehicles transporting cows in the past as well.
Police said that the situation in Shrigonda was tense but under control. The administration has deployed heavy police force in Shrigonda and other sensitive places in Ahmednagar district considering communal nature of the incident.