Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Saturday held an emergency meeting, just before boarding a flight in Jaipur airport, to discuss the death of more than 500 cows at the Hingonia cow rehabilitation centre in the city. Raje will visit the cattle shelter after four days, reported The Indian Express.
Only days after the incident came to light, Raje sent two ministers, the state chief secretary and several officials to the cattle shelter to take stock of the situation. Before taking her flight, the chief minister met the inspection team who briefed her about their findings. The details of the meeting have yet to be known.
This comes only a day after the state government suspended two top officials for negligence leading to the death of the animals. Rajasthan is the only state in the country to have a dedicated cow protection department.
The ruling party faced strong criticism from the Opposition after the incident, with the Congress accusing the Raje regime of negligence. Rajasthan Congress President Sachin Pilot, state leader of Opposition Rameshwar Dudi and Jaipur District Congress President PS Khachariawas also visited the cattle shelter.
On Friday, the Anti-Corruption Bureau started an investigation into the matter. The cows were left to die since all the 266 contractual workers at the shelter went on a strike on July 21 claiming payment dues. Veterinarians said the animals died because of starvation, and the rains made their situation worse. ACB Additional Superintendent of Police Bajrang Singh said, "The cows died after being trapped for days on end without food and water." The animals were in neck-deep dung and fodder that had turned slushy, he added.