At least 27 cows have died in the last three days at a government-aided private shelter run by a local BJP leader in Durg district of Chhattisgarh, authorities said, adding a case has been filed and a probe initiated to ascertain the cause of the deaths. The Chhattisgarh Rajya Gau Sewa Aayog, which filed a complaint with the police, has alleged that lack of proper facilities at the ‘gaushala’ were responsible for the deaths. However, Harish Verma, the cow shed owner who belongs to the BJP and holds the post of vice president in Jamul Municipality, claimed that the cows died due to collapse of a boundary wall on August 15. “In the last three days, 27 cows were reported to have died of unknown reasons in the gaushala of Rajpur. Around 500 bovines were housed in the government-aided shelter home. Soon after getting the news of the incident, a team of veterinary doctors was sent to the spot,” Durg Additional Collector Sanjay Agrawal said.
He said the exact cause of the deaths was yet to be ascertained as the blood samples of the carcasses of the cows have been sent to laboratories and reports are awaited. “A case was registered today against Harish Verma in connection with the death of the cows at his ‘gaushala’ in Rajpur village under Dhamdha police station limits,” Durg Superintendent of Police Amresh Mishra told PTI. A complaint in this regard was filed by the Chhattisgarh Rajya Gau Sewa Aayog alleging the lack of management and proper facilities at the facility, he said. “The matter is being investigated and Verma will be interrogated soon,” Mishra added. Meanwhile, Verma claimed that the cows died after the boundary wall of his gaushala crashed on them.
“On August 15, several cows were injured in the Gaushala after the boundary wall collapsed due to heavy rains. Thereafter, 26 of them succumbed to injuries while treatment of some other cows is underway,” he said. Verma alleged that he was not receiving the grant from the Gau Sewa Ayog even after repeated requests. The main opposition Congress has alleged around 300 cows have died in Verma’s shelter home in the past three days. “According to local villagers, around 300 cows have died of starvation and lack proper care as they were not fed properly in the ‘gaushala’,” state Congress spokesperson RP Singh said and demanded a high-level probe into the matter.