Cattle, stray dogs kept in ‘captivity’ ahead of President visit

Over 35 head of cattle and 130 stray dogs rounded up in Sringeri

October 09, 2021 10:57 pm | Updated October 10, 2021 05:05 am IST - Hassan

Sringeri town panchayat officials drove all cattle roaming in the town limits to a vacant place near the market.

Sringeri town panchayat officials drove all cattle roaming in the town limits to a vacant place near the market.

Local authorities, who shut down all business establishments in Sringeri for President Ram Nath Kovind’s five-hour visit, also rounded up stray cattle and dogs before his arrival on Friday. The town panchayat had captured over 35 head of cattle and around 130 stray dogs and kept them in captivity until the President left the temple town.

Mr. Kovind, along with his family members, visited Sringeri Sharada Peetha on Friday and was in town between 11.30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Prior to this, the town panchayat officials drove all the cattle roaming in the town limits to a vacant place near the agriculture market and locked them up. They hired a special team to capture stray dogs too. All these measures were taken to “avoid any untoward incident” during his visit, they said.

T. Leelavathi, chief officer of the town panchayat, told The Hindu that the cattle and dogs captured were all released on Friday evening soon after the President left the town.

“Our staff took good care of the animals after capturing them,” she said. When asked if it was indeed necessary to capture the animals, the officer said the panchayat followed the orders of the Deputy Commissioner of Chikkamagaluru.

Though the officers said the animals had been let off at the place where they were captured, local people alleged that many dogs were released in nearby villages.

Naveen Karuvane, a leader of Raitha Sangha, said that a special team, hired by the town panchayat, let off dogs near Hindruvalli. “The animals have been roaming in villages,” he said.

The residents said that though Presidents have visited Sringeri, never before were so many restrictions in place. “Businessmen had no business for two days. The animals too had to suffer,” he added.

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