The text describes the situation of 2 successive activist raids on June 22 & 23 and on Aug 23 in New Delhi in which the activists manages to salvage the lives of 300 livestock being smuggled in 12 trucks driving through the heart of New Delhi. Over 10 people were arrested while others escaped.
- Pictures: Abhinav Srihan. Pictures are used with permission by VoSD. All pictures have been used as is with enhancements only for low light conditions or contrast.
- Text: Mohit Sanghal. Text is used with minor edits for clarity.
- Prior published reading on VoSD on illegal cattle transport and slaughter here
The raid of June 22 2014:
In a raid on 22nd June 12 trucks were caught with more than 300 livestock including dead animals, injured animals, lactating animals, pregnant animals and calves being taken away to Ghazipur slaughter house in New Delhi. Over 50% of these were found dead due to injuries and suffocation as they had been in this truck from last 24hours minimum without water n food in scorching heat of June. Over 10 people were arrested while others escaped.
It was a busy afternoon of June 22, when we got the information of some trucks passing through the new route right outside Delhi Police Headquarters to Ghazipur as this route was completely safe for the butchers. Saurabh Gupta of PFA Delhi informed us all about these trucks taking the same route every night after 10. This was a joint raid which had volunteers from all the NGO’s of Delhi NCR namely SPCA, PFA, Fauna Police, IAF, Sai Ashram even not to forget the cooperation extended by ‘Gau Rakshak Dal’.
We fixed a spot to assemble about 10 pm. Saurabh Gupta, Gaurav Gupta, Rajeev Vij, Abhinav Srihan, Gaurav Sharma, Varun Malik, Sanju Dotfire, Sonya Ghosh, Mrs Patel, Gunjan Uppal were few of the volunteers who actively participated in the raid. There were people from other organizations as well.
We decided to spilt into two teams where the first team with SUV’s was supposed to obstruct the way of speeding trucks as the drivers of these trucks had instructions to run over that tries to stop them in New Delhi. After waiting for quite some time finally the action begun, Saurabh Gupta in one SUV and I in my SUV started the chase for a speeding truck at around 11 pm which was crossing the Yamuna bridge towards Ghazipur slaughter house n we were lucky enough to stop the first truck.
In the meantime our entire team was following the truck and to our horror we found over 40-50 buffaloes brutally stuffed in the first truck whereas the capacity allows just 2-3 as per AWBI guidelines. Within no time we stopped another truck passing by as by this time the traffic was slow because of the 1st truck parked on the main road. The 3rd and 4th truck were also flagged down within next 10 minutes and we too were surprised that the trail of such trucks was endless.
The drivers were armed with rods and sticks and at least 6 butchers were traveling per truck to cope up with any of the unwanted situation to harm their interest, but they had no idea that we were big in number this time. On being confronted they started jumping out of the trucks with the keys of the truck and over to the other side of highway where they were followed by few volunteers but only one was caught. In the meanwhile other trucks were flagged down!
The police had been informed by Saurabh Gupta when the first truck was stopped but the cops arrived when we had 6-7 trucks on the road. The primary concern of the cops was the traffic pile up that reached almost 4 kms (2.5 miles) behind the spot of raid by now.
Cars passing by stopped to check what was going on. A few without parked their vehicles and joined us and in no time we had turned thousands from a bunch of 50 volunteers. Almost every passing car that had witnessed this horrifying scene passed a bottle of water from their car for volunteers to pour on the buffaloes in truck to cool off them a bit until the water tanker of PWD reached the spot.
Till 12AM the entire road was clogged so there was no chance of finding another truck crossing us with livestock but we got an information that the butchers left around 4 more trucks loaded with buffaloes, sheep and goats around Indraprastha Police Post where the general public had started stopping these trucks on another main road leading towards Ghazipur slaughter house. Over 10 butchers were arrested by police whom the volunteers took out from first 3.
The number of cops started increasing as the riot control team station officers for neighboring police station came in because the public that had involved in the raid was getting out of control and had started breaking windshields of the trucks.
The trucks were sent to Sanjay Gandhi hospital next morning as the trucks had no keys so it was really difficult for the cops and volunteers to drive these trucks back to the shelter. In the meantime the water food and first aid was arranged.
At the time of writing this a lot of pressure has been brought against Saurabh Gupta & Gaurav Gupta for all the alleged financial ‘loss’ they have ’caused’.
We all know that this trade will never come to a full stop but all we want is that the buffaloes or cattle should be transported as per the guidelines issued. They finally will be killed in the slaughter house but we don’t want them to suffer each minute being transported with broken limbs broken tails, green chilies in eyes to stuff max. weight per truck.