Around a dozen government primary and upper primary schools in Aligarh were shut down while students and teachers were forced to stay out of their classrooms on Wednesday in Iglas area of Uttar Pradesh.
Unhappy over stray cows destroying their crops, the farmers in the district drove away nearly 800 stray cattle and locked them up in government buildings, especially in Iglas and Khair tehsils. The schools were eventually closed and the students were asked to return home.
Shockingly this development comes at a time when Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed the officials concerned to make immediate arrangements for proper care of stray cows. The district authorities have had to deal with locals since past 48-hours, driving away the stray cattle from compounds of different government buildings,including schools and hospitals.
“We are facing a lot of problems as classes are being disrupted and students are feeling insecure due to the prevailing atmosphere. The school compound has also become dirty. We don’t know when this issue will be resolved, but we have informed our seniors.”
District Magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Ajay Kumar Sahni held an emergency meeting of district officials to take stock of the situation and prevent it from going out of hand. Singh said:
“We have held meetings with farmers’ representatives and cautioned them against taking law in their hands by forcibly shepherding their cows into government buildings.”
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He also warned:
“We will take punitive action against any person who displays cruel behaviour towards these stray animals or tries to confine them in any unauthorised area.”
Singh has also asserted that arrangements for establishing cow shelters in every village panchayat were being taken up on a war footing. The SSP also announced that FIRs will be lodged against anyone who abandons his/her cattle after it crosses its milk production stage and if necessary they will also be booked under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
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