Facing Flak On 'Gau Raksha', Minister Feeds Cows At Rajasthan Shelter

More than 500 cows have died in the last two weeks, say volunteers, at a shelter near Jaipur

Highlights

  • Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said she would visit the shelter soon
  • Rajasthan government suspended 2 senior officials for dereliction of duty
  • There is no official count of the number of cows that have died
Jaipur: Facing criticism after the death of over 500 cows in two weeks at a shelter near Jaipur in Rajasthan, the government has swung into action rushing minister to the shelter in Hingonia.

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, in a tweet, assured strict action against responsible officers and said she would visit the shelter soon.The Rajasthan government on Saturday ordered a high-level inquiry and suspended two senior officials for dereliction of duty.
 

After contractual workers at Hingonia shelter went on strike, no one is left to take care of cows

Since more than 250 contractual workers at the Hingonia cow shelter went on strike last month to demand that they be paid, their neglected stalls have turned into death traps.

No one has cleaned the stalls where the animals are kept or fed them, many have starved to death, their hooves stuck in slush caused by heavy rain and cow dung.

There is no official count of the number of cows that have died, but volunteers who have arrived to help clean the sheds say they have taken out 90 carcasses in the last two days and there are many more dead cows. The shelter houses about 8,000 cows. Government vet Dr Devendra Kumar Yadav confirmed that most of the cows have died from starvation not disease.

"The main reason is that workers here have not been paid since May and with no labour how do you expect me to sort out the problem?" said Bhagwat Singh Dewal, chairman of the shelter, which has an yearly budget of 20 crore.

The salaries were held up because of a dispute between the Jaipur Municipal Corporation and the firm through which the workers are hired to clean the cow sheds and feed the animals.

In an effort to make quick amends, animal husbandry minister Prabhu Lal Saini himself attended cows.

"I am a farmer and a cattle rearer, cows who were not eating I have fed them, have given water to the cows, one's who were lying down I have made them sit up," he said.

PM Narendra Modi on Saturday used his first-ever townhall to deliver a lacerating statement on cow vigilantes. Most of these people (self-styled cow protectors) are "anti-social elements hiding behind the mask of Gau Rakshaks", he said.

Meanwhile, attacking the government, the Congress hit the streets with a "gau raksha rally".

"Where are the cow vigilante groups and the gau rakshaks, why don't they go and pull out cows stuck in the mud and slush as our workers are doing," the Congress spokesperson said.

Taking note of the incident, the Rajasthan High Court has directed the Anti-Corruption Bureau to give a report by August 10 on why the salaries of the contract workers were stopped despite the civic body having a budget of Rs 20 crores.