VISAKHAPATNAM: In an unfortunate incident, more than a dozen cattle died at Gnanananda Ashram in Venkojipalem in the last couple of days.
On Monday, Anandapuram police rescued over 160 cows near Mamidilova while the cows were being illegally transported in lorries after their sale at Narayana Valasa weekly market in Srikakulam district. The police then shifted the rescued cows to Gnanananda Ashram in Venkojipalem. Several cows and calves, which were already injured during their transport in lorries, died allegedly due to lack of food and water as the Ashram, which is in dire straits, could not provide proper shelter and food for the cattle.
While 10 cows and calves died on Friday, four died on Saturday, according to Ashram sources. The ashram can tend only to a limited number of cows, they said. A team of veterinarians rushed to the location to examine the cattle.
Tourism Minister Muthamsetti Srinivasa Rao, who visited the ashram on Saturday, expressed shock and concern over the disturbing incident. Speaking to mediapersons, he said worshiping cows is considered the culture of our nation and it is unfortunate to see them die in a painful state. He said all measures will be taken to avoid such incidents. He donated Rs 10,000 for the immediate food requirements of the cows in the Ashram. He directed authorities to work in coordination with the Police, Revenue, Endowment and Animal Husbandry Departments to look after the cows. There should not be any shortage of staff to protect the cows, he said.
One of the veterinarians who examined the cows, told mediapersons that the unavailability of food and water has made the already injured cows weak. Post-mortem is being done to know the primary reason behind the death. As a safety measure, the ill cows and calves are being separated from the healthy ones, he said.
TDP MLA Velagapudi Ramakrishna questioned how cows could be brought in flocks to an Ashram where the shelter and food facilities are limited. “If the poor cows were shifted to Simhachalam Gosala instead of this Ashram, their lives could have been saved,” said Ramakrishna.
Jana Sena corporator Murthy Yadav criticised the police for bringing cows to the Ashram. The police came all the way to the Ashram which is 33 km away from where the cows were rescued. He urged the police to shift the cows to the goshala at Sarada Peetham.