In Jharkhand Cattle Traders' Killing, Chief Minister Hints At Smuggling Link

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Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das


Latehar: 

Highlights

  1. 12-year-old boy among two cattle traders killed
  2. Police had earlier claimed robbery was the motive behind the murders
  3. Five people have been arrested in the case so far
Reacting to the killing of two cattle traders in Jharkhand, Chief Minister Raghubar Das on Sunday suggested that the men could have been involved in smuggling.

"Police have arrested some people in this case. There is a law... like in Uttarakhand, in Jharkhand also no one can take animals outside the state. The police is working to contain the situation", the Chief Minister said.

Among those killed is a 32-year-old man and a 12-year-old boy who helped his father in cattle trade. Their bodies were found hanging from a tree in Latehar district on Friday morning, with their mouths tied with cloth. The police had earlier claimed robbery was the motive behind the killings.

"They beat up my boy and hung him by the neck. You tell me, can I find any peace? My boy was so small," said the grandmother of the boy.

Relatives of the traders claim the two were only transporting eight oxen within the state.

Five people have been arrested in the case so far. The police said on Saturday that one of them, Mithilesh Prasad Sahu, is a member of a self-styled cow protection group.

"I am not denying that one of the accused, Mithilesh Prasad Sahu, was a member of a cow protection committee," Latehar police chief Anoop Birtharay had said on Saturday.

The family of Mithilesh Sahu has said he was only a member of the Bajrang Dal. "He had formed the local unit a month ago because a temple had to be constructed, that's it," said his uncle Dilip Kumar.

P K Singh, Sub Divisional Police Officer of Latehar, said the police were investigating further. "As far as we know the accused (Mithlesh Sahu) was a self-styled head of a cow protection committee. I can't say if he was involved with any other organisation," Mr Singh said.

Earlier on Saturday, the police had said robbery was the motive behind the killings. "These people are criminals. They have previously snatched animals from traders and threatened them. Police is investigating all angles, including if they belonged to any cow protection organisation. We will make this clear in the days to come," Mr Birtharay said at a press conference.

Relatives of the two who have been killed say they were targeted for being cattle traders. They allege that a former cattle trader from another village and his associates had been threatening them for over a year, asking them to quit the trade.


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