Vijayawada: As many as 86 cows died at about midnight on Friday at the Go Samrakshana Sangham gosala at Kottur Tadepalli on the outskirts of Vijayawada. A few more cows have fallen sick and are being treated at the cow shelter. Veterinarians have started performing post-mortem on the spot. The shelter has about 1,500 cows.
Minister Vellampalli Srinivas, legislator Malladi Vishnu, collector A. Md. Imtiaz, police commissioner Ch Dwaraka Tirumala Rao and others visited the spot. Mr Srinivas has ordered an inquiry into the mass deaths.
A gosala committee member said that staff began noticing the cows falling ill after eating the feed in the evening and called for help. Committee members visited the gosala at 10 pm and called veterinarians. A complaint was lodged with the police at 2.30 am. Police along with the animal husbandry staff rushed to the spot.
Animal husbandry experts started taking preventive measures. About 15 cows in one enclosure were treated and are recovering.
Vijayawada Go Samrakhana Sangham secretary Govind Kumar Saboo said the gosala had nearly 1,500 cows and 20 workers. He said the shelter had eight CCTV cameras but they were not working properly. He said that the committee did not suspect anyone of having poisoned the cows.
Speaking to the media, BJP leader Lanka Dinakar wondered how anyone could rule out poisoning without waiting for the post-mortem reports.
He sought a thorough inquiry and the guilty to be punished. “It is an attack on the sentiments of the people and it does not augur well for the prosperity of the state,” Mr Dinakar said.
II-Town inspector Md. Omar said samples have been collected and they would be sent for forensic tests along with the post-mortem reports.
He said that the police had started an investigation on the complaint lodged by committee secretary Govind Kumar. He said that the police could not collect any data from the CCTV footage.