Farmers stage protest over stray cattle menace

They loaded 250 stray animals into tractor trolleys as part of their agitation

Annoyed over persistent damage caused to their crops by stray cattle, several farmers having allegiance to the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Lakhowal) on Friday staged a protest with stray cattle loaded on tractor trolleys as a part of their agitation in Punjab’s Faridkot.

The farmers were adamant on releasing stray cattle on the Deputy Commissioner’s office premises. They were, however, stopped on the outskirts of the town and were pacified by the local authorities after talks.

“We brought around 250 stray cattle to register our protest. Our aim was to send a message to the local administration about the grave problem of stray cattle. The local authorities have assured us of finding a solution soon,” said Gurvinder Singh, press secretary, BKU (Lakhowal).

Mr. Singh said that even after repeated requests made to the State government, the menace of stray cattle continued to haunt them. “Stray cattle destroy our standing crops and have become a serious threat to human lives in several cases, but we are helpless. Be it sugarcane, wheat, potato or seasonal vegetables, stray cattle damage the crop in almost every season. The State government should take some concrete step to solve the problem otherwise we will be forced to intensify our agitation,” he said.

Mr. Singh said that as a part of their Statewide agitation, farmers, under the banner of BKU (Lakhowal), will stage a similar “march with stray cattle'” towards the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Jalandhar on February 18. “We will hold such protests in all the districts. Yesterday, we had protested in Ludhiana,” he said.

As the problem of stray animals continues unabated, principal Opposition in the State, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Shiromani Akali Dal, have time and again accused the government of “completely failing” to protect the life and property of people here.

AAP senior leader Harpal Singh Cheema recently alleged that while the government collected “cow cess” and other taxes in the name of taking care of stray animals, nothing concrete was being done to tackle the menace. The Akali Dal had demanded development of stray cattle pounds, free power to gaushalas on the pattern of the previous SAD-BJP government and judicial use of “cow cess” to tackle the issue of cattle menace.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 6:52:22 PM |

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