At least 10 members of the Bajrang Dal were injured after they clashed in Odisha’s Balasore district on Thursday morning with a group allegedly trafficking cattle to Bengal.
Police officials said the Bajrang Dal workers from Salepur area of Cuttack followed at least three vans carrying cattle for around 200 km till they tried to stop the vans at Fuladi area on the outskirts of Balasore town on NH 60 on Thursday morning.
“As a fight ensued between the Bajrang Dal workers and the men carrying cattle, the latter sought help from local villagers,” said a police official of Balasore Sadar police station.
He said the local villagers came armed with bamboo sticks and other weapons and attacked the Bajrang Dal workers which injured at least 10 of them. Three of the Bajrang Dal workers have been seriously injured with fractures and gashes on their heads.
The two vehicles in which the Bajrang Dal workers were travelling were badly damaged. A case has been lodged with the Balasore Sadar police station in this regard.
In September, an angry mob torched a vehicle carrying cattle in Keonjhar district over suspicions that it was being used for smuggling of cattle amid a series of such incidents involving hundreds of cattle across the state. The same month, locals in Balasore district had set ablaze three cattle-laden vans along Kamarda-Baliapal road when they intercepted three vans carrying around 100 cattle to West Bengal in three vans.
Last year, Odisha CID in an affidavit had told the Orissa high court that there has been progressive rise in cases of illegal transportation of cows coming under the category of cruelty to animals over the past five years. The CID affidavit said that there had been a whopping 217% rise in cases of illegal transportation of cows since 2017.