- A Bajrang Dal activist was injured and is now hospitalised
- Police said the shooting took place at 3am after a 20-minute pursuit
- The suspects were in a truck, the vigilantes were chasing them
An activist of the right-wing group Bajrang Dal got injured in Gurgaon near Delhi as suspected cattle smugglers opened fire on a group of cow vigilantes who were giving them chase. The police said the injured man, who was also among the cow vigilantes, has been admitted to a hospital in a critical condition but now doctors say he is out of danger.
The police said the shooting took place at the Millennium City near Delhi around 3:00 AM after a 20-minute high-speed pursuit on the main road. The suspected cattle smugglers were intercepted by the activists last evening. They gave chase when the suspects, who were in a truck, tried to speed away.
Rajeev Deshwal, a senior police officer of Gurgaon, said when the suspected smugglers realised that they were being watched, they offloaded the cows from the truck and sped off. "Then they opened fire, in which Mohit -- a resident of Manesar and a member of Gau Rakshak Sangathan -- was injured," he added.
A video, purportedly shot from the vehicle pursuing the alleged cow smugglers, shows a dramatic chase where the vehicle in front skips checkpoints and speeds through the main roads. The miscreants then opened fire and managed to flee.
The activists, the officer said, had initially informed the police and gave chase when they realised that the miscreants might try to run.
The police have already identified five of the six accused. "A search is on and I hope they will be rounded up soon," the officer said. The truck has been recovered from Haryana's Mewat, nearly 60 km away.
Incidents of cow vigilantes taking on alleged cattle smugglers have been reported frequently over the last years. There have been nine such incidents this year, in which five people have died and 36 have been injured. This was the first incident where cattle smugglers have opened fire.