Carcasses of 17 cows, who were being buried in a field of a government school in Madhya Pradesh's Gwalior district, have been recovered by the police. The stray cows, according to reports, had been locked up inside a classroom of the school for a week, where they died of starvation.
Chief Minister Kamal Nath has ordered a probe, saying such incidents cannot be tolerated.
"The news of the death of 17 cows at Dabra in Gwalior is very sad. Instructions for an impartial investigation into the incident have been given. Strict action would be taken against the guilty. We are committed to protecting cows. Such incidents cannot be tolerated," Mr Nath tweeted this afternoon.
The school, according to reports, had been closed for holidays when someone locked the cows inside one of the classrooms of the school located in Samudan village on Dabra-Gwalior road. The reason, locals say, is because the cows would spoil the crops in the nearby fields.
When the school re-opened, the students on smelling the stench, informed their parents, who then intimated the police.
It is not clear yet who locked up the cows inside the school and whether the school knew about it.
A case has been filed under provisions of the state's anti-cow slaughter law, the Madhya Pradesh Govansh Vadh Pratishedh Adhiniyam. The excavator engaged in digging the school grounds to bury the dead cows has also been seized by the police.
Following the incident, Bajrang Dal members protested on the streets asking for a probe into the incident.
Sub Divisional Magistrate Dabra Raghvendra Pandey said, "Some gausevaks (cow vigilantes) spotted the cows being buried inside the school premises and informed the police around 8 pm. By the time the police rushed to the spot, the accused had fled from the spot leaving the JCB machine behind in the school premises."