A youth was killed in a clash between members of a cow protection group and alleged cattle smugglers in Ganger village, Karnal district, in the wee hours of Thursday.However, by the morning, police officials made contradictory claims regarding the identity of the victim and investigations into the case. While Karnal police spokesperson Anil Kumar said the youth had been identified as Kuldeep of Ganger and a case of murder registered against unidentified persons, SHO of Taraori police station Naresh Sharma, under whose jurisdiction the clash took place, said the victim’s name was Irfan (25), a resident of Gharaunda, and members of the cow protection group had been arrested in the case.The SHO, however, did not reveal the names or the number of the people arrested by him.At the time of filing of this report, it was not clear whether the youth was a member of the cow protection group or the alleged cattle smugglers.Members of Gau Raksha Dal members got a tip-off about a vehicle carrying cattle near Taraori around 2 am on Thursday. They reportedly chased the pick-up vehicle.It has been claimed by members of the Gau Raksha Dal that the smugglers fired at them, and they then shot back in retaliation. Sandeep Rana of Gau Raksha Dal claimed that they had taken two policemen along to chase the smugglers, but even this was denied by the Taraori SHO. Police admitted that they had recovered a vehicle filled with cattle, a .12 bore gun and 12 cartridges. Rana said, “Gau Raksha Dal has written to the Haryana chief minister, demanding a CBI inquiry into the incident, alleging that they were being falsely implicated by the Taraori SHO as he was also hands-in-glove with the smugglers.”The Karnal police spokesperson said a special investigation team (SIT) would be constituted to look into the matter. Karnal range inspector general of police Subhash Yadav and Karnal superintendent of police Karnal Pankaj Nain also visited the spot.
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