More than 500 cows have starved to death in the last two weeks at a shelter near Jaipur in Rajasthan.
According to media reports, Hingonia cow shelter's contractual workers went on strike in July to demand their pay. Following the strike of the over 250 employees, there was no one available to clean the stalls where the animals were kept. The cows were not even fed during this period, reported NDTV.
The report added that the volunteers, who have arrived at the site to clean the shed, have taken out 90 carcasses so far and reportedly there are many more.
Government vet Dr Devendra Kumar Yadav has confirmed that starvation not disease was the cause of most deaths.
The Hindustan Times reported that the anti-corruption bureau on 5 August initiated an inquiry into the matter of alleged dereliction of duty by government officials.
Dispute between the Jaipur Municipal Corporation and the firm through which the contractual employees are hired is said to be the reason for the workers not getting their salaries.
In the wake of the incident, the Congress along with VHP, has blamed the BJP government in Rajasthan for the poor condition of cow shelters. The parties have demanded a rescue campaign for sick cows at the shelter in question.
"The situation is very bad and thousands of cows are living in a miserable condition. The Chief Minister should visit the gaushala and announce a rescue campaign for the animals," Leader of Opposition Rameshwar Dudi told reporters.
"The BJP does politics in the name of cows but when it comes to their state of affairs, the government shows no interest. It is a matter of shame," he added.
Pratap Singh Khachariawas, the chief of Congress Jaipur district, has said that the party will take out a 'Gauraksha Padyatra' march from the PCC office to Govind Devji temple on 6 August to demand "result-oriented efforts" from the state government to protect cows.
VHP also took a dig at the state government saying the shelter appears to be "graveyard for the cows".
"The gaushala, instead of a rehabilitation centre, appears to be a graveyard for the cows. There are heaps of dirt and mud all over the centre in which the animals get trapped and killed. Despite more than 500 cows dying, no action and effort from the administration is highly condemnable," PTI quoted VHP's senior office-bearer Narpat Singh Shekhawat.