In spite of all the efforts of the state government in UP, there is no dearth of cows in gaushalas, nor the number of cows roaming in the roads and fields.
After the death of a large number of cows in gaushalas in Prayagraj last week, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath made many tough decisions. Several officials of the places where the cows were killed in the gaushalas along with Prayagraj were suspended, some were warned that the responsibility of the District Magistrate and Chief Veterinary Officer was fixed on the death of the cows in gaushalas.
More than three dozen cows died in a temporary gaushala in the Kadi village of Bahadurpur block of Prayagraj. Officials who arrived on the spot said it was due to lightning, whereas villagers had said that there was no such incident of lightning, but the cows were hungry and trapped in the swamps. It is a different matter that later in the post-mortem report, the cause of death was indeed due to lightning, but after the incident, members of the Gaushala Commission, who arrived there on the orders of the Chief Minister, did not even believe in it.
Cow slaughter in Hinduism is a taboo subject. The cow is considered to be sacred. The slaughter of the cow is prohibited in most of the states of India, its consumption of meat is also prohibited but it is a matter of state list and states have the right to make rules and regulations on livestock.
There is no restriction on cow slaughter in states like Kerala, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim. However, under Article 48 of the Constitution, the principles of state policy guidelines have been described as a prohibition of cow slaughter.
It is illegal to slaughter cows and calves in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. However, bulls and bullocks can be killed against a ‘fit-for-slaughter’ certificate, issued if animals can no longer be used for breeding; draught/agricultural operations.
In Uttar Pradesh, the slaughter of cows, bulls, and bullocks is prohibited. It is forbidden to eat beef and store it. The lawbreaker can be fined for 7 years or a be slapped with a fine of ₹10 thousand rupees or both.
There is a ban on killing cows in Assam, but a ‘fit-for-slaughter’ certificate can be issued in this state as well. There is a ban on killing cows and calves in Bihar, but not on bulls and bullocks whose age is more than 15 years. The law-breaker may have to spend 6 months in prison or pay a fine.
According to a law made in the state of Haryana in 2015, under the terminology of cow, bulls, bulls, and calves, weak, sick and infertile cows have been included and there are restrictions on killing them. The punishment can be 3-10 year sentence in prison or a fine of ₹1 lakh fine or both.
Suresh Tiwari, a resident of Kandi village said, “The gaushala was prepared by destroying a pond in a hurry, due to rain for several days, water was flooded in the pond, and the surrounding area got swampy. To save themselves, the cows were trapped in the same quagmire when they were there, some went out and some remained there. There was no one to look out for them.” Many other people of the village also confirm the statements of Suresh Tiwari. Others claim that the number of cows was much higher and most of the cows were buried under construction equipment.
Not only this, when there was a ruckus on the incident in Prayagraj and the investigation was ongoing, two more cows died in the gaushalas. According to the locals, there was enough place to only keep fifty cows in the gaushala, whereas the actual number of cows were more than 300, suffering from hunger and thirst. After Prayagraj, the news of 30 cows dying in Ayodhya surfaced. Besides this, news of cows dying in gaushalas also emerged from Mirzapur, Chandauli, Kannauj, Banda, Mahoba and Balrampur.
Following these frequent incidents, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, while video conferencing with all the District Magistrates warned that action against the guilty will be taken under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The Chief Minister has directed the joint responsibility of conducting the shelter of the shelter sites to the District Magistrates and the Chief Medical Officers, to arrange proper arrangements for feeding, vaccination and sheds.
An alarming number of cows have died in different places in Uttar Pradesh in the last two weeks. Most of the deaths are either due to hunger or due to chaos in the gaushalas. Cows have also been killed due to the weather because there is no proper arrangement in these gaushalas to avoid rain and rainfall. This is happening, while the state government has not only managed to construct around ₹2.5 billion in the budget for the construction and maintenance of cows but also for the protection of cows, but additional taxes have been imposed on liquor and toll in the name of cows.
Despite this, there is hardly any place in the state where there is no news of the death of cows and calves. The state government had instructed all villages to construct pucca shelters in the villages and urban areas but in most shelters, the cows are fed in the absence of fodder and water or they are being left to roam outside.
In Bundelkhand, there was a serious problem for the farmers of the area of Anna, now this situation has worsened. The construction of Govansh Shanthi sites was first started from this area but the situation is that shelter sites are missing from the cows because there is no fodder system. There are 516 registered and about 4000 temporary cows in Uttar Pradesh.
According to the Department of Animal Husbandry, about seven and a half lakh loose animals, half of which have been transported to the shelters. On the condition of anonymity, a senior officer of the Animal Husbandry Department says, “In some places, animals were brought to shelter after administrative rigor but when there is no arrangement of fodder water in the fierce heat, the cattle operators also think Instead of leaving them in the heat, they should be left open.”
In January this year, the UPA Government had allocated ₹247 crore for the construction and maintenance of gaushalas in the budget.
In the last year too, a sum of ₹10 lakh to ₹30 lakh was released in 69 urban bodies for the construction of gaushalas but in most places, this money was not used. The government has also arranged for recovering ₹165 crore by insisting for cow protection but the animals are constantly breaking down due to malnutrition in the gaushalas.
The state’s Livestock Development Minister Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary says, “There has been no work for the protection and preservation of cattle till now we are doing a lot. There are some complaints, but they will be all right. Where the death of animals has increased, it is being investigated, but there will be no shortage of fodder and water in any cow. “
Actually, the government allocates every animal in a gaushala ₹30 per day. A cattle conductor says that in this amount, a cow can not be fed even one meal. According to him, “The government feels that he is giving a lot but the truth is that how can a cow’s stomach be filled in just this much?”
At the same time, a senior official of the state government says that all this is happening because no proper planning has been made and it has been implemented without any plan. According to him, villages and local bodies were given work to build and operate the gaushalas but if there is a shortage of funds, money does not reach even from time to time, then problems will arise.