MP: Houses of 11 demolished, cops claim encroachment, 'beef' up charges

Police also found animal fat, cattle skin and bones stuffed in a room, claims SP

Representative file photo
Representative file photo

NH Digital

Houses allegedly built on government land by 11 persons were demolished in tribal-dominated Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh as part of a drive against the "illegal beef trade" in the state, a police official said on Saturday. The action was taken after a tip-off was received that a large number of cows had been held captive for slaughter in the Bhainswahi area in Nainpur, Mandla superintendent of police Rajat Saklecha told PTI.

"A team was rushed there and we found 150 cows tied in the backyards of the accused. Cow meat was recovered from the refrigerators in the homes of all the 11 accused. We also found animal fat, cattle skin and bones, which were stuffed in a room," he said.

The population of the area consists mostly of Gond, Baiga and Oraon tribes, at least some of whom are known to consume beef as well as dairy products.

The slaughter of cows is punishable by law in Madhya Pradesh, with a punishment of up to seven years in jail, though buffaloes enjoy no such protection. And buffalo meat is also technically beef.

"The local government veterinarian has confirmed that the seized meat is beef. We have also sent samples to Hyderabad for secondary DNA analysis. The houses of the 11 accused were demolished as they were on government land," the SP said.

It was, however, not clear if the demolition was the result of the houses being built on government land, or because their owners were suspected of cow slaughter.

The SP said an FIR was registered on Friday night following the recovery of the cows and beef, adding that one of the accused has been arrested while a hunt was on for the remaining 10. "The 150 cows have been sent to a cattle shelter. The Bhainswahi area has become a hub of cow smuggling for some time now," Saklecha added.

Police sources said the "criminal history" of two of the accused has been gathered, and efforts are on to find the antecedents of the remaining suspects. All the accused are Muslim, they added.

With agency inputs

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