Three men who were transporting buffaloes from Gurgaon to Ghazipur mandi for slaughter were allegedly beaten up in southeast Delhi's Kalkaji area by activists of an animal rights group.
Cross-complaints have been registered in the matter. The FIR mentions that the accused are the members of People For Animals (PFA) but the animal rights body has denied any association with the incident.
The three injured men were taken to the AIIMS Trauma Center.
The truck, transporting about half a dozen buffaloes, was stopped by activists of the PFA who claimed that they followed the vehicle after receiving information that the men were transporting animals for slaughter.
According to the police, they received a PCR call last night from one Gaurav Gupta, an animal activist and office bearer of PFA, claiming that buffaloes were being transported illegally.
The occupants of the truck claimed that they had been roughed up by a group of animal rights activists led by Gupta.
A case has been registered against the three men for inhumane treatment of the animals on a complaint by the PFA members while the driver of the truck made a complaint against the activists, police said.
A case of voluntarily causing hurt and wrongful restraint has been registered against the PFA members, they added. Further investigation is underway.
Medical examination of the injured — Rizwan, Ashu and Kaamil — was carried out and the truck carrying buffaloes was seized by the police.
Ramil Baaniya, DCP South East, said the men sustained minor injuries and were treated at the AIIMS.
"The NGO PFA has been working against animal cruelty in Delhi for a long time. they are not 'gau rakshaks' (cow protectionists)," he said.
The activists who were present at the spot also denied that they had beaten up the men.
Gaurav Gupta, who claimed to be a member of PFA, said "We had information regarding inhumane transportation (of the buffaloes) and followed the truck... Then we called the Police Control Room."
PFA denies any association with the incident
Union Minister and an animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi, who is also the chairman of the PFA, denied that the men are connected to her organisation.
"We have no PFA unit in Delhi. We have 10,000 volunteers across the country. Whoever acted did so in his individual capacity," Gandhi's office said.
Sources said that the minister spoke to the DCP of the area about the incident.
The incident comes amid increasing cases of cow vigilantes indulging in violence.
On Saturday, a cow vigilante group attacked and injured a nomadic family of five including a 9-year old girl and stole all their livestock.
Earlier this month, a Muslim man was lynched to death by a crowd in Rajasthan's alwar for transporting cows which had purchased for his dairy business.