Uttar Pradesh is in the midst of a crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses and several Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states have undertaken similar drives. Earlier this week, a Muslim dairy farmer in Alwar, Rajasthan died after he was beaten up by self-appointed gau rakshaks who suspected him of smuggling cows.
Cutting through the hype of cow protection, the Hindustan Times reported today that 152 cows at the 128-year-old Kanpur Gaushala, one of the largest and richest bovine shelters in the country, have died in the past five months -- around a quarter of its population. The newspaper reported that half of its 540 cows are sick.
HT further reported that four cows have died in the past week due to starvation, with the autopsy confirming that the "the cows were anaemic and devoid of nutritious food."
A senior member of the society that manages the Kanpur Gaushala told HT, "The society is run by the who's who of Kanpur, it gets crores of rupees in donation; where is the money going? This needs to be investigated."
While the self-appointed gau rakshaks have targeted communities that depend on cattle for their livelihood, over the past two-and-a-half years, many have questioned why they are not more concerned about the the deplorable conditions of starvation, disease and injury to which cows are subjected in this country.
In another instance of dual-standards, BJP leaders in Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram recently said that there would be no ban on cow slaughter if the party wins the Assembly elections in the three Christian-majority states, next year.
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