Maharashtra was rocked by three beef-related incidents in which a Muslim youth was beaten up in Nagpur and four persons were arrested in two separate incidents for transporting the banned meat in Pune, officials said on Thursday.
A youth, Salim Ismail Shah, was waylaid by an angry mob of self-styled cow vigilantes in Bharsingi village in Nagpur on suspicion he was carrying beef on his scooter.
Ignoring his pleas that he was a mutton trader and was carrying goat meat, the vigilantes caught and assaulted him, a Nagpur Rural Police Control official said.
The Jalakheda police have registered cross-complaints and arrested four persons – Ashwin Uike, Jagdish Choudhary, Moreshwar Tandulkar and Ramesh Taywade – for assaulting Shah, while the meat has been sent for testing in a lab.
Yerawada police in Pune intercepted two persons who were transporting over 1,000 kg of “beef” in a private vehicle from Osmanabad to Mumbai via Pune.
The driver, Mohammed Arif Qureshi, and one passenger Mohammed Arif Khan claimed they were transporting buffalo meat after slaughtering around a dozen buffaloes in Osmanabad.
In a separate incident in Pune’s Faraskhana area, police intercepted two vehicles on suspicion of transporting 50 kg beef and questioned the drivers.
They admitted under questioning that it was beef and they had allegedly slaughtered a cow in their shop nearby.
An investigation of the shop premises revealed bones and skin of the animal after which the police placed them under arrest.
In both the incidents, the Yerawada and Faraskhana police have booked the accused under relevant sections of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and are probing further.
Beef is banned in Maharashtra.