cattle herd
Muslim cattle herders, including minor, found dead in Jharkhand; villagers block national highway Picture: Rescued cattle are seen at a "goushala", or cow shelter, run by Bharatiya Gou Rakshan Parishad, an arm of the Hindu nationalist group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), at Aangaon village in the western Indian state of Maharashtra Feb. 20, 2015.Reuters file

The Haryana Police said a "cow smuggler" was killed and another injured in an encounter on Sunday in the Kurukshetra district.

According to an IANS report, a shooting took place in the Thanesar area between the police and "cattle-smugglers" transporting cows in a pick-up truck.

"The smugglers were transporting cows in the pick-up vehicle when local villagers and the police tried to stop them. However, they hit a police control room vehicle and fired on a police team, which returned fire. One smuggler was killed while another was injured in the shootout," Kurukshetra district police chief Simardeep Singh told IANS.

The other three people managed to flee, said the official.

Under the recently-approved Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Act, both cow slaughter and transportation of cows to other states for sale are probhited.

The cow slaughter ban has turned into a controversial issue in the country, with right-wing groups in many instances taking to violent methods to impose it on people.

In October, a truck driver in Himachal Pradesh was lynched by a mob over suspicion that he was smuggling cattle.

The Muslim man named Noman was found by the police abandoned in a truck in Shimla with serious injures. He succumbed to injuries after being taken to hospital. Reports said Noman was beaten up by Bajrang Dal activists after they stopped the carrying-cattle truck.

In September, Mohmmad Akhlaq was dragged out of his home in Uttar Pradesh and stoned to death by villagers in the Dadri after after a public announcement from the local Hindu temple that the family had slaughtered a calf and eaten its meat.

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