Impounder attacked, milk supply partially hit amid maldhari protest

A cattle impounder, who was part of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s Cattle Nuisance and Control Department (CNCD) team, was attacked in the Nikol area during a drive to catch stray cattle late Tuesday even as milk supply was partly affected across the state Wednesday as maldharis continued their protest against the Gujarat Cattle Control (Keeping and Moving) in Urban Areas Bill, 2022 before the Assembly withdrew it.

According to the FIR lodged at the Nikol police station, Ikramuddin Ayub Khan Pathan was attacked on his left shoulder by a local named Maheshbhai Rabari with a sword. The FIR further states that Pathan, along with other CNCD impounders and a police team, were near Manmohan crossroad in the Nikol area at 11:15 pm Tuesday to catch stray cattle on the road. When the team caught two cows from the Gomtipur vegetable market and were taking them away in their cattle van, Rabari attacked Pathan on the left shoulder with a sword and threatened to kill. He also tried to obstruct the CNCD team in their cattle drive.

Following the complaint, Rabari has been booked under IPC sections 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), and 189 (threat of injury to public servant) and Section 135 (1) (penalty for contravention of rule or directions under section 37, 39 or 40) of the Gujarat Police Act.

Meanwhile, supply and distribution of milk in Rajkot were partially hit following the strike by maldharis as protesters allegedly intercepted a tanker believed to be that of Gopal Dairy (Rajkot District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Limited) near Metoda and flushed milk from it, while others emptied the milk cans on roads.

“Our operations were not much affected though we could not supply around 10 per cent of milk,” Gordhan Dhamelia, chairman of Rajkot Dairy told The Indian Express, adding, “In view of the strike announced by the maldharis, we supplied 3.5 lakh litres of milk to retail outlets Tuesday night itself so that they could sell milk to customers Wednesday morning and evening.”

Rajkot Dairy procures around three lakh litres of milk from milk producers in the district and around one lakh litres from Sarhad Dairy of Kutch and Sursagar Dairy of Surendranagar to supply around four lakh litres per day (llpd).

]Dhamelia said, “Some village-level milk cooperatives requested suspension of operations for a day in view of the strike. Hence, they didn’t send their consignments of the milk. However, there is nothing on record so far suggesting our milk tanker bringing milk to the dairy was intercepted and milk from it was spilled on the road.”

The chairman further said that the dairy will start supplying milk to retail outlets from early Thursday morning. “Our distribution vans will start supplying milk to retail outlets from 3:30 AM on Thursday with police protection,” said Dhamelia.

Meanwhile, tea stalls opened in the city late Wednesday evening as the protests ended after the withdrawal of the Bill.

In Vadodara, many cattle owners fed milk to stray dogs instead of supplying milk to the dairy as part of the strike even as several milk parlours remained closed and supply was interrupted.

Amul and Baroda Dairy shops in Vadodara city ran out of their stock of milk by 9am as customers queued up in a state of panic.


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