Farmers in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh's Agra district have locked up herds of stray cattle, especially cows, in schools and other government buildings alleging that the animals are destroying their crops, amid a spate of such incidents in the state.
The development comes close on the heels of another such incident in Aligarh where farmers in the district herded stray cows inside government buildings to prevent crop damage.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath recently directed the officials concerned to make immediate arrangements for proper care of stray cows.
He also ordered clearing of grazing grounds in different parts of the state from encroachments.
In Agra, police had to intervene in at least six cases to free cows locked in schools and public health centres.
On Saturday, villagers locked up stray cows in a school in Garhi Bachchi. A day earlier, cattle were locked up inside a primary school at Arela village in Etmadpur tehsil.
Officials of the Basic Education department had to intervene to get the premises vacated for children who had been forced to stay away from classes.
Farmers objected that the animals were destroying crops.
"Cows and bulls have become a huge nuisance, eating crops and destroying greenery," complained a farmer of Barauli Ahir block, Ramesh.
A farmer from Bichpuri, Ram Bharosey, said a groups of villagers with sticks in hands have to keep moving around to ensure the cattle were kept away from fields.
Several farmers also raised concern over what they called as 'population explosion' of cattle.
People do not know what to do with cattle which are usually chased away towards the urban clusters. The bulls in the city have caused several fatal accidents, they said.
When contacted, the district authorities said plans for providing new pasture land and cow shelters will take time for implementation.
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