Three persons have been booked by police in neighbouring Thane district for allegedly transporting a bull in an SUV for slaughtering it, police said on Thursday.
Notably, bull slaughtering is banned in Maharashtra. The three - identified as Intezar Ali Sheikh, Raju Ungli and Raju Lanka - have also booked under various charges, including attempt to murder, based on a complaint filed by animal activist Chetan Sharma on Wednesday.
As the three accused were trying to transport the bull in a tranquilised state allegedly to a slaughter house in Mumbra township of Thane district in the early hours on Wednesday, Sharma and his bodyguard tried to stop them. But, the three allegedly attacked Sharma and his bodyguard, the activist said in his complaint filed with Taloja police in Thane.
Later, the car of the accused got stuck in bushes on a roadside when they tried to escape. The three then came out of the vehicle and ran away taking advantage of the darkness, according to the complaint. Sharma's bodyguard then alerted the Taloja police who found the bull lying tied inside the car in a tranquilised condition.
The police seized the vehicle, and also some injections apparently used to tranquilise the animal, a knife with blood stains, three mobile phones and sticks lying inside the car.
An FIR was registered against the three under IPC sections 307 (attempt to murder), 382 (theft after preparation made for causing death, hurt or restraint in order to the committing of the theft) and 379 of the IPC, along with sections of Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Arms Act, an officer at Taloja police station said.
A hunt is on to nab the three accused, he added. Meanwhile, Sharma said that the bull has been sent to a 'gaushala' and police are trying to trace its owner. Notably, the President granted assent to Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act in February last year. While the original Act of 1976 banned slaughter of cows, the amendment prohibits slaughter of bulls and even possession and consumption of beef.