Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Sunday suspended eight officials in connection with the deaths of cows at shelters across the state, the Hindustan Times reported. Adityanath also issued show cause notices to three district magistrates.
Adityanath ordered the action during a video conference with all district magistrates in the state on Sunday evening, ANI reported. The chief minister warned officials that action may be taken against them under Govadh Nivaran Adhiniyam, an Act to prevent cow slaughter, and Prevention of Cruelty against Animals Act for negligence.
The chief minister’s orders came less than a week after at least 35 cattle were found dead at a temporary shelter home in Prayagraj. Police said the cattle may have died in lightning. “Prima facie it appears that 35 cattle have died due to lightning, treatment for others underway,” District Magistrate Bhanu Chandra Goswami had told media, according to ANI.
Cattle deaths were also reported from shelters in Ayodhya, Mirzapur, Prayagraj and a few other districts, reported the Hindustan Times.
The eight officers who were suspended include block development officers, veterinary and panchayat officers and officials in charge of shelters in the districts where the cattle deaths were reported. In Ayodhya alone, the government suspended deputy chief veterinary officer of Milkipur block, block development officer of Milkipur, gram panchayat officer of Paliya Mafi village and the person in charge of a cow shelter run by Ayodhya Municipal Corporation, The Indian Express reported.
The chief minister ordered that show cause notices be issued to the district magistrate and chief veterinary officer of Ayodhya and the district magistrate of Mirzapur and one other district magistrate. The chief minister has asked the Prayagraj commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the cattle deaths.
Adityanath directed all district magistrates to ensure cow shelters are clean and arrangements are made for fodder and treatment of animals. He also asked the district officials and chief veterinary officers to inspect cow shelters periodically.