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Tension in Kathua after mob burns truck


Driver, conductor flee after villagers intercept the vehicle carrying cows, buffalo


A tense situation prevailed in Hiranagar area of Kathua district on Monday after a mob set on fire a truck they believed was carrying smuggled bovines.


A police official, who requested anonymity, said that about 10 in the morning, 200 to 250 residents of Pathwal village intercepted the Kashmir-bound truck (JK02AE-2637) carrying eight cows and a buffalo.


Apprehending danger, the driver and the conductor of the vehicle abandoned it and fled from the spot. However, the villagers set the vehicle on fire after bringing down the animals, the official said.


The mob did not let firefighters extinguish the blaze, and traffic on Jammu-Pathankot section of the highway was disrupted for several hours. The villagers were demanding stern action against the truck driver as they suspected him to be a smuggler of bovines.


“Senior superintendent of police KathuaShridharPatil and other senior officers rushed to the spot and tried to pacify the agitators but they refused to disperse, prompting the police to use batons and fire teargas shells,” the official said and added that two persons suffered minor injuries.


A case was registered in this connection and investigation is on, the official said.


Patil is learnt to have assured the villagers that the driver and his associate will be nabbed soon and action will also be taken against the police officials responsible for letting the vehicle cross Lakhanpur toll post without checking. Greater Kashmir

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