Dozens of cows have starved to death at a government-run shed in Rajasthan as contractual workers went on a strike. Their hooves stuck in slush and dung, the cows were trapped in their dirty stalls at the shelter in Hingonia that houses about 8000 cows, the NDTV reported.
"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?" Bhagwat Singh Dewal, chairman of the shelter, told NDTV.
Volunteers have disposed of at least 90 carcasses in the last two days from the shed. The Congress immediately saw an opportunity to slam the state government on the issue.
"While they are committing reprehensible crimes in the name of cow, there is a saddening story from Rajasthan where 100 cows have died in a government-run shed in just two days," party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters.
He said the tragic development showed that BJP is tall on claims, "but does nothing on the ground and the BJP government sheds crocodile tears on cows".
The Rajasthan government however claimed that no death of cows occurred due to carelessness.
The government is making all efforts to make sure that proper arrangements are in place in the centre where some animals have died in the past few days, Secretary of animal husbandry department Kunji Lal Meena said. These cows were already sick, he said.
He said that there are 8,000 bovine animals in the centre and a team of 14 veterinary experts and 24 assistants look after them.
He said that there was no carelessness involved in providing them food, fodder and water.
Earlier, former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said in a statement that "there have been reports of malpractices in Hingonia gaushala for long. Even the Rajasthan High Court had to pass an order to probe irregularities. Despite inquiries and criminal cases related to gaushala, the situation has only worsened in the past months."
Meena informed that in the last few days a special campaign was undertaken to capture stray animals, therefore, the inflow of animals to the centre has increased.
"1,228 bovine animals were captured from July 15 to July 31 and most of them were suffering from malnutrition and were sick," he said. (With PTI inputs)