Reethu, a story teller, a person often found between the pages of a book or contemplating the nuances of life.
As many as 45 cows were found dead on Saturday, July 25, allegedly due to suffocation, at a claustrophobic panchayat bhawan in Medhpal village in Chhattisgarh's Bilaspur district, officials said.
According to a report by The Indian Express, the cows were locked up as part of Roka-Cheka, an age-old tradition under which village elders and dignitaries decide how to stop cattle from entering farmlands by taking them to a 'gothan' (cow shelter). Roka-Cheka has also been made a government scheme.
The incident came to light after the villagers living near the old gram panchayat bhawan complained of a strange smell from the building on Saturday morning.
The police have filed an FIR and the district administration has constituted a committee to conduct an inquiry.
"There were 50 animals, out of which 45 have died. We have evacuated the bodies, and we are waiting for the postmortem report. A case has been registered against unknown persons under Section 429 (mischief by killing or maiming cattle, etc., of any value or any animal of the value of Rs 50) of the IPC and Section 13 ( destruction of suffering animals) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act," Bilaspur IG Dipanshu Kabra told the media.
Meanwhile, the incident has triggered strong reactions from the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Opposition in the state.
"The Congress government which made huge propaganda for the Suraaji Gaon Scheme failed to make proper arrangements for its effective implementation," state BJP chief Vishnudeo Sai was quoted by NDTV.
"All welfare schemes for cows including Narwa-Garuwa- Ghurwa-Badi, Godhan Nyay Yojna and Roka Cheka Yojna are running well on paper but have no visibility on the ground. This has exposed the state government's anti-agriculture character," Sai alleged.
Meanwhile, former CM Raman Singh said, "The animals' deaths are a sign of how badly the temporary gothans are being run in the state… The government has spent lakhs of money on these temporary shelters. If you want to run the schemes, first train your personnel and employ personnel. Only talking will not help."
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