The district magistrate of Maharajganj and five other officials were suspended on Monday for negligence in cow protection, a top Uttar Pradesh government official said in Lucknow.
Announcing the suspension “a rare move against an IAS officer” at a hurriedly called press conference, chief secretary R K Tiwari said there were "continuous complaints of negligence" in the upkeep of stray cows in Madhvaliya cow shelter in Nichlaul tehsil of Maharajganj district.
"The government constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Additional Commissioner (Administrative), Gorakhpur Division. The committee found several anomalies in the number of cattle during probe," the UP chief secretary said.
"Official documents showed the number of cattle as 2,500, but during physical verification only 954 cattle were found. Besides, it was also found that the officials had given 328 acres out of total 500 acres of land of the cow shelter to farmers, firms and other individuals in an illegal manner," he added.
He also said during investigation, the officers could not give satisfactory answers to the committee.
It was found that in the name of fodder and maintenance of cattle, the number of cattle was deliberately increased on papers to misuse government funds, he said.
On the basis of the report, District Magistrate of Maharajganj Amarnath Upadhyay, who is also the president of Madhvaliya cow shelter, the then SDM of Nichlaul Devendra Kumar and the current SDM Satyam Mishra, Chief Veterinary Officer, Maharajganj Rajiv Upadhyay and Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer of Nichlaul VK Maurya were suspended with immediate effect and departmental inquiry was ordered against them, he added.
(With PTI inputs)