60 cows die after consuming ‘poisonous’ fodder in UP’s Amroha

At least 60 cows died and over three dozens were taken ill allegedly after consuming poisonous fodder in a gaushala (cow shelter) at Santhalpur village of Uttar Pradesh’s Amroha district on Thursday, prompting Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to order a probe into the matter.

Five police teams were formed to find out the cause behind large-scale bovine deaths.

A total of 188 head of cattle were kept at the shelter. The cattle that were taken ill were said to be out of danger, officials said.

“A fodder sample has been sent for chemical analysis. An FIR has been lodged at the Adampur police station Amroha against the fodder supplier. The guilty will not be spared,” said Moradabad zone Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Rajkumar who visited the cow shelter on Friday morning.

Amroha District Magistrate BK Tripathi said the FIR was registered against one Tahir and two others who supplied the fodder to the shelter on Thursday. Santhslapur village development officer (VDO) Mohammed Anas was suspended with an immediate effect, he added.

Adampur police station charge Ram Prakash Sharma said the accused were being interrogated and will be booked under the National Security Act (NSA) as “it is a very sensitive issue”. “They have not yet been arrested formally as our investigation is on. Police force has been deployed in the village to ensure that nothing untoward happens there,” he added.

The initial police probe has revealed that Tahir, a local resident, supplied nearly 3,000 kg fodder on Thursday. “Tahir supplied the fodder for the first time on Thursday as the earlier arrangement was cancelled by the VDO in consultation with the gram pradhan Ramautar Singh. Why the supply was given to a new person after cancelling the earlier arrangement needs a thorough investigation,” said a police officer.

The cow shelter has been sealed by the police and neither the media nor the local villagers were allowed entry there.

Angry villagers staged a demonstration outside the cow shelter, alleging that the death toll was likely to be higher as officials were hiding the actual number.

“More than a hundred head of cattle at the cow shelter are feared to have died. Officials took stray cows from the area to the shelter to show the number there as higher. How a government that cannot ensure safety of cows can ensure security of the people of the state,” said Sachin Chaudhary, general secretary of the UP Congress Committee.

Fearing protests from locals, officials buried the carcasses of the dead animals by digging up pits late Thursday night.

Senior officials and BJP leaders, including the party’s Amroha chief Rishipal Nagar and Hasanpur MLA Mahendra Singh Khadakvansi showered petals on the carcasses.

“Whoever is responsible for the killings will not be spared. A strict action will be taken against the guilty,” said the BJP MLA from Hasanpur.



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