A DAY after 70 cows and bulls died and over 30 fell ill at Mata Mansa Devi Charitable Gaudham, Haryana’s state-of-the-art cattle pound located adjacent to Mansa Devi Temple in Panchkula, the animal husbandry department on Thursday confirmed the presence of toxicity in their food.
However, no suspicious activity has been spotted in 24 hours of CCTV footage of the pound.
Dr Anil Kumar, deputy director of the animal husbandry department, told The Indian Express, “Our suspicions of poisoning through food have been confirmed. As per the initial investigation, a food-borne toxicity has been detected. The samples have further been sent for a chemical analysis to ascertain the exact nature and cause of death of the cattle.”
At least one more cow died Wednesday night during treatment. “The cow that passed away was old and was not responding to treatment,” said Dr Kumar. At least four more cows are currently in critical condition.
Meanwhile, the police’s investigations have no yielded anything yet. Station House Officer of the Mansa Devi Complex police station, Inspector Yashdeep Singh, said, “We had taken 24 hours of CCTV footage from the temple but till now have not spotted any suspicious activity. We have gone through the whole footage and have only found everyday staff visiting the premises. We will be calling in the staff to verify who had visited the cowshed on the said day.”
While no FIR has been registered, a Daily Diary Report (DDR) had been filed and the investigation is being conducted on the same. A final chemical toxicity result is expected in two days.
It was at around 9.15 pm on Tuesday that vets were rushed to the pound after the cattle began to feel uneasy.
Despite attempts to treat them, 70 had already died by Wednesday morning. There are around 1,350 cows in seven sheds at the shelter. The deaths were reported in two sheds.
Local MLA and Haryana Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta had on Wednesday also constituted a three-member inquiry committee which is set to submit its report in three days.
The cowshed, spread across about six acres of land, had been inaugurated in October 2013 by the then Haryana chief minister. It is run by the Panchkula Gaushala Trust, which has 15 members.
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