Judicial panel to probe mass death of cows in Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh government has set up a judicial commission to make recommendations about improving the condition of 'gaushalas.'

Raipur: Facing flak over the large-scale death of cows in three state-aided shelters allegedly due to starvation and lack of care, the Chhattisgarh government has set up a judicial commission to probe the reasons and make recommendations about improving the condition of 'gaushalas.'

The one-member commission headed by retired District and Sessions Judge AK Samantray will probe the sudden death of scores of cows in Durg and Bemetara districts run by a BJP leader and his relatives, an official said today.

The panel has been asked to submit its report within three months of the gazette notification for its constitution, he said.

The probe will broadly focus on how many cattle died and reasons for it, whether these could have been averted, fix responsibility, and suggest measures for improvement of management of cow shelters.

The panel will make recommendations on how such incidents could be prevented and reforms required to improve the system of registration, grant of approval and monitoring of shelters.

The commission will also suggest measures to ensure continuous and systematic management of cowsheds and necessary legal provisions required to enforce that, the official added.

The Raman Singh government has been under attack from the opposition Congress over the death of a large number of cows in three state-aided shelters.

While Shagun Gaushala was run by local BJP leader Harish Verma in Durg, the two other cowsheds in Bemetara were operated by his relatives.

According to the state officials, over 200 cows died at these shelters between August 16 and 18 allegedly due to "starvation and lack of care".

Five persons, including Verma, have so far been arrested in connection with these deaths.

After it came to light, the government had suspended nine employees of the animal husbandry department, including two deputy directors.

It also formed a four-member Cabinet sub-committee to review the arrangements at cow shelters. 

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