At least 25 cows have died at a government facility in Haryana’s Kurukshetra because of an alleged lack of access to fodder after incessant showers hit the region, PTI reported. The cattle were trapped in the facility after the rain caused water-logging in the shelter in Mathana village. “A few starved to death and many have fallen sick,” villager Kiran Bala told the news agency.

Haryana Gau Sewa Commission chairperson Bhani Das Mangla, who also inspected the site, said other animals have been relocated to 20 shelters running in the district. Sub-Divisional Magistrate Narinder Pal Malik directed the management to transfer the sick cattle to another shelter in Karnal. He added the village panchayat and state animal husbandry department were running the shelter.

Animal Husbandry Department Deputy Director Dharminder Singh said the department takes good care of the cattle. Contradicting him, former president of the Shri Krishan Gaushala that provides fodder to the shelter Ashok Papneja said the shelter lacks proper facilities. “There is no fodder and drinking water available for so many cows,” he told PTI.

This comes amid reports of cow-related violence in the region. Groups of cow vigilantes have resorted to attacking people suspected to be transporting beef or cattle. Protection of cattle has triggered heated debates across the country as right-wing groups are using violence to propagate their beliefs. The matter even sparked nationwide demonstrations against cow-related attacks.