STAFF AT the Municipal Corporation’s stray cattle catching department have stopped work out of fear of being attacked by the owners of the cattle. For the last one month, the employees have not caught a single stray animal. Though the MC commissioner has written to the police, the latter has not done anything yet to ensure their safety.
According to Kesar Singh, who heads the branch, as many as five attacks have taken place on the MC employees when they went to catch stray cattle. He said the attacks took place on February 18, March 10, March 14, April 12 and June 2 this year. Kesar said they have written to the police after every single attack, but neither have they provided security nor did they act against those who assaulted the employees.
“On March 10, our team went to Mataur to catch stray cattle. There, the owner of the cow that had been caught by our team, put a knife to the throat of one of our staff and threatened to slit it, if we did not release his cattle. So, we had to release the cow. That was not the first instance. People have thrashed us when we go to catch the animals,” rued Kesar.
Cattle owners allow cows that have stopped producing milk to roam freely and eat what they get on the streets. They are usually released close to parks where they munch on the grass. He said all the employees have now decided not to catch stray animals until the police and MC ensure their safety. Kesar added that the commissioner has written to the Senior Superintendent of Police, who has asked DSP (City 2) Ramandeep Singh to carry out an inquiry but the police are yet to take action against the people who attacked the employees. “If police do not take action, our union will hold a protest outside Phase 8 police station. We want safety if the MC wants us to catch stray cattle,” he added.
This year, the MC has fined many people who used to leave their cattle in the city. As a result, MC has earned Rs 3.17 lakh from fines. Denying allegations of not providing security, Station House Officer (SHO) Inspector Jarnail Singh said they have called both the parties to the police station on Thursday to sort out the problem.