Bihar van driver blinded in one eye in attack as honking scares a cow

The injured driver.(Amit Anand/HT photo)
Police said driver Ganesh Mandal fell unconscious when he was hit with a baton on his left eye by the owner of the cow in Saharsa district of Bihar.

Amid rising incidents of cow vigilantism, a driver of a pick-van is suspected to have been blinded in his left eye after he was attacked for allegedly scaring a bovine by honking horn in north Bihar’s Saharsa district.

The incident took place at Maina village in Sonbarsa Raj police station area, 250 km north of state capital Patna, on Thursday evening.

Police said driver Ganesh Mandal, 30, was returning home at Bochahi village in neighbouring Bhagalpur district from Saharsa when he came across a cow roaming on national highway-107. “Mandal honked the horn so that the cow could get out of his way. Instead, the bovine panicked and ran away. This made the owner of the cow, who was nearby, furious and he rained baton blows on Mandal,” the police said. The cow owner had been identified as Ram Dular Yadav, they added.

Mandal fell unconscious when he was hit on his left eye, the police said, adding that he was rushed to the nearby primary health centre (PHC). When Mandal, after regaining consciousness, complained that he was unable to see out of his left eye, the doctor at the PHC referred him to the government hospital at Saharsa. The patient was bleeding profusely from his left eye and the possibility of his losing vision could not be ruled out, the PHC doctor said.

While Saharsa civil surgeon Ashok Kumar Singh was not in the town, deputy superintendent of the district hospital said the patient left for Bhagalpur for treatment at the better-equipped medical college hospital there.

Ram Dular Yadav, meanwhile, denied the charge that his cow was roaming on the NH. “I was, in fact, milking the cow when the driver scared it by honking the horn,” he told reporters.

Sonbarsa Raj police station SHO Mohammad Izhar Alam said an FIR had been registered on the basis of the complaint by Mnadal. Further investigation was on, he said.