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24 Arrested in Seoni for Killing Over 60 Cows to Incite Communal Unrest, Says MP Police

Photo: Unsplash

Madhya Pradesh police have said that they have arrested 24 individuals “linked to the killing of more than 60 bovine animals, including cows,” in Seoni district last week. Eight of those arrested are from Nagpur, where “the conspiracy to kill the animals was reportedly devised to incite communal unrest”, officials said on Friday.

According to the police, the discovery began with the carcasses of 18 cows, found with their throats slit in the Vainganga river near Pindrai village, and 28 more cows and oxen found in the Kakartala forest area under Dhuma police station on June 19 and 20. Additional carcasses were found in the district in the following days.

“Police have so far arrested 24 persons in this connection. The accused were hired to kill the bovine animals for money, and local residents of Seoni were also involved,” a police official stated. The police headquarters in Bhopal monitored the case, recognizing the incident as an attempt to disrupt communal harmony and directed arrests of those involved.

Initially, the case was registered under the Madhya Pradesh Govansh Vadh Pratishedh Adhiniyam, 2004, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. Based on initial leads, Wahid Khan and his six associates were the first to be arrested. During interrogation, they disclosed that Khan organized the killings on instructions from Israr Ahmed, a Nagpur-based individual, for a substantial sum of money, police said.

According to the police, Ahmed and his associates arrived in Seoni on June 17 and enlisted Sana-ur-Rehman, Abdul Karim, and Rafiq Khan for the task, offering them monetary compensation. Inspector General of Police (Jabalpur zone) Anil Singh Kushwaha confirmed that 62 bovine animals, including 19 cows and 43 oxen, were killed.

Investigations indicated that the slaughter was intended to provoke communal tension. Israr Ahmed, a Nagpur resident, allegedly paid ₹30,000 as an advance to Wahid Khan, against whom the National Security Act (NSA) provisions have been invoked for orchestrating the killings.

Following the discovery of the carcasses, suspicions arose that smugglers were behind the killings, possibly reacting to intensified police efforts to curb cow smuggling in the district. Seoni shares its border with Nagpur in Maharashtra, where cow slaughter is prohibited by law, similar to Madhya Pradesh.

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