499 strays died in Lucknow an­i­mal shel­ter in April-Sept

Hindustan Times (Gurgaon) - - Nation - Anu­pam Sri­vas­tava anu­pam.sri­vas­tava@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Though ‘gau rak­sha’ (cow pro­tec­tion) is among the top pri­or­i­ties of the UP gov­ern­ment, 499 stray an­i­mals — most of them cows — have died in Lucknow’s Kanha Up­van from April 1 to Septem­ber 30 this year.

No in­quiries have been or­dered, no death au­dits car­ried out and there has been no post­mortem ex­am­i­na­tion of the an­i­mals’ bod­ies.

Kanha Up­van (shel­ter for home­less an­i­mals) of­fi­cials said the cows that died were brought here in a poor con­di­tion.

Some of the an­i­mals were ac­ci­dent victims, some were ill while oth­ers were too old and weak.

“No cow has died of hunger or mis­man­age­ment. ‘Jee­vaashraya’ has al­ways taken good care of an­i­mals in Kanha Up­van — the big­gest an­i­mal shel­ter home in the coun­try,” said Amit Se­h­gal, man­ager, Kanha Up­van.

Se­h­gal said ques­tions were raised over the death of stray an­i­mals only be­cause ‘Jeevashraya’ (the NGO tak­ing care of the shel­ter home) de­cided to with­draw from the main­te­nance of Kanha Up­van.

He ad­mit­ted that ‘Jeevashraya’ had been strug­gling to ar­range food for the an­i­mals from the past few days as all their funds had dried up.

Be­sides, the state gov­ern­ment had re­fused to is­sue any more funds.

Se­h­gal said de­spite Jee­vaashrya’s re­quest not to send more cows to Kanha Up­van, the au­thor­i­ties were send­ing cat­tle, which was in­creas­ing the fi­nan­cial bur­den on the NGO.

‘Jeevashraya’ was ac­cused of tak­ing ₹8.35 crore aid from the state gov­ern­ment in the last five years and their re­fusal to feed the an­i­mals drew flak from an­i­mal lovers and an­i­mal rights ac­tivists.

An ac­tivist said, “Can they tell what they have done for Kanha Up­van in that pe­riod? Why can’t they feed an­i­mals for a month? With such huge aid from oth­ers, any­one can man­age af­fairs at Kanha Up­van.”

Mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner Udairaj Singh said he was keep­ing a watch on the sit­u­a­tion but would com­ment af­ter ver­i­fy­ing facts.

Can they tell what they have done for Kanha Up­van in that pe­riod? Why can’t they feed an­i­mals for a month? With such huge aid from oth­ers, any­one can man­age af­fairs at Kanha Up­van. AN­I­MAL RIGHTS AC­TIVIST

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