After reporting over 100 cattle deaths in last two months, a gaushala in Tripura’s Devipur village is now facing a new challenge: cattle thieves. At least 60 cows were stolen from the gaushala till last week and none of them were recovered till date despite several complaints to the police.
The shelter, run by Delhi-based NGO Dhyan Foundation, offers asylum to livestock rescued by Border Security Forces (BSF) from smugglers at the Indo-Bangla international border.
However, cow deaths at the gaushala have come down with only seven reported in last 10 days.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Dhyan Foundation volunteer Rahul Roy said that the situation is improving with help from the state government. However, he said that unidentified miscreants are posing a security threat to the gaushala as 60 cows have been stolen so far.
At least 700 cows rescued by the BSF were recently shifted from Srinagar, Kamthana, Kulubari, Fatikcherra, Harihardola, Kaiadhepa and few other Border Out Posts (BOP) to Devipur gaushala, 22 Km from Agartala.
In the last two months, 159 cows died due to malnourishment and hyperthermia. And 45 cows died in a single day alone earlier this month. However, regular assistance from state government agencies in terms of medicines and veterinary doctors has seen the deaths come down.
“The Animal Resource Development Department (ARDD) officials have helped us a lot. They now supply us deworming tablets, vaccination and all kinds of veterinary medical support in our cow shelter,” Roy said.
Another volunteer at the foundation said the rescued animals come to them in a fragile state. “Most of these animals came to us in severely malnourished condition. We have found smugglers tying IEDs to cows and tying them to makeshift rafts to make way for smooth smuggling in West Bengal frontiers. There were similar smuggling acts in Tripura. People involved in such activities are anti-nationals,” said Sreeparna Ghoshal, a volunteer at the foundation.
ARDD Director Dr Dilip Kumar Chakma said that government authorities have been providing vaccination support to animals in the gaushala, apart from deworming drugs. He also said the government is considering to shift some of the animals to a second cow shelter in Tripura.