Hathras (UP), July 25: At least four alleged cattle smugglers transporting a dead buffalo were assaulted by a mob here in the early hours on Wednesday, the police said.
Villagers alleged that the men were caught in village Nagla Mandhata while they were transporting the buffalo's carcass in a pick-up van. They were, however, rescued by the police who intervened in time, Hasayan SHO Jitendra Kumar said.
The owner of the buffalo alleged that the animal had been poisoned by these cattle smugglers. Superintendent of Police Sushil Ghule said tough action would be initiated if it was found that they were cattle smugglers.
The incident, which took place before dawn in Hathras district, about 200 km from Delhi, assumes significance as it came against the backdrop of a backlash over the death of a man attacked by cow vigilantes in Rajasthan.
This is the latest in a series of mob attacks that have become quite frequent in various parts of the country. 28-year-old Rakbar Khan died after he was thrashed by a mob at Alwar in Rajasthan on suspicion of cattle smuggling last week.
Khan was attacked by villagers who thought he was smuggling cows. What caused his death was alleged delay by cops in taking him to hospital.
The government has constituted a Group of Ministers to examine ways of checking what the Supreme Court termed "mobocracy" and report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Centre put out an advisory yesterday asserting that states need to take measures against such incidents.