Lucknow: Less than a week after 35 cattle were found dead at a Prayagraj shelter, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has suspended eight officials and sent show cause notices to three officers, including the District Magistrate, for allegedly showing negligence in maintaining cattle.

The action came at a video conference Yogi held with all the District Magistrates in the state on Sunday evening. The Chief Minister also directed Prayagraj Commissioner to investigate all the aspects of the death of the destitute cow. He instructed the officer to determine the responsibility of the concerned.

Issuing a warning, Yogi said that in future, criminal proceedings could also be initiated under the Prevention of Animal Husbandry Act and Animal Prevention
Act.

About the cattle found dead, police said they may have died due to lightning. “Prima facie it appears that 35 cattle have died due to lightning, treatment for others underway,” Bhanu Chandra Goswami, District Magistrate had told media.

Recently, the Chief Minister had directed officials to ensure that the cow sheds were self-reliant and all facilities were made available for the animals. In Jalalabad too, more than a dozen cows died due to hunger at a cow shelter of Kannauj district last week. The deaths triggered protests by locals outside the cow shelter.

According to the locals, at least 15 cows have died or gone missing even as the shelter workers took other 5-6 cows away on loaders.

Earlier this year, over 100 cows were reported to have died in some villages in Muzaffarnagar over two days following which an inquiry was ordered in the incident. The cows died in pastures and were suspected to have either eaten poisonous grass or consumed polluted water, Sub Divisional Magistrate Vijay Kumar said.

He said an inquiry was ordered into the incident and a team of revenue department along with veterinarians had gone to the areas where the bovines died to ascertain the cause. The cows had been brought to the pastures from shelter homes.