A Bharatiya Janata Party leader from Chhattisgarh was arrested on Friday after at least 27 cows died at his government-aided cow shelter in Rajpur village of Durg district, PTI reported. The Chhattisgarh Rajya Gau Sewa Aayog filed a First Information Report with the police, alleging that the cows died due to lack of facilities at the shelter. Following this, the police arrested the leader, Harish Verma.

“In the last three days, 27 cows were reported to have died of unknown reasons in the gaushala of Rajpur,” Durg Additional Collector Sanjay Agrawal said. “Around 500 bovines were housed in the government-aided shelter home. A team of veterinarians was sent to the spot. The district administration has initiated an investigation to ascertain the cause behind deaths of the cows.”

Harish Verma, who is the vice-president of the Jamul municipality in Durg, has claimed that the bovines had died due to the collapse of a boundary wall on August 15.

Rajpur village Sarpanch Pati Sevaram Sahu had alleged on Friday that 200 cows had died at the shelter due to starvation. The blood samples of the cow carcasses have been sent to laboratories for inspection.