Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Bhadrak: Three cow vigilantes were seriously injured in a fight with the cattle smugglers at National Highway No 16 near Ranital in the district on Wednesday.

The injured have been admitted to the Bhadrak District Headquarters Hospital in critical conditions.

According to reports, a team of cow vigilantes under the banner of Go Surakhya Samiti were trying to intercept three trucks in which over 300 cattle were being transported illegally. However, the smugglers launched attacks on the vigilantes with sharp edged weapons, sticks and stones, leaving three of them injured.

"We were informed by some local people that some cow smugglers were carrying cattle in container trucks. The workers of Go Surakhya Samiti chased the trucks and informed the police about the same. On the way, the smugglers started throwing stones in order to stop us. They also attacked us with sharp edged weapons and sticks and injured three of us badly," said Rabindra Das, a member of Go Surakhya Samiti.

While Bhadrak police seized two trucks from the spot with the help of the vigilantes, the smugglers managed to flee with another truck. More than 200 cattle have been rescued.

"Around 10-12 smugglers attacked me when we were trying to stop them. They thrashed me seriously and I lost my sense," said another Go Surakhya Samiti member, Hemamnt Baisakh.

In a similar incident, more than 50 cattle were rescued by Simulia police at Maitapur on Wednesday while the cow smugglers were transporting them in a truck.

(Edited by Ramakant Biswas)