To tackle the problem of stray cattle that has caused several incidents of violence in Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath government has imposed 0.5% ‘gau kalyan’ or cow welfare state in the state. The fund collected from the cess will be used to construct shelters in Uttar Pradesh, thereby reducing the violent incidents related to stray cattle. According to a data collecting site Factchecker.com, Uttar Pradesh witnessed 69% cow-related violence in 2018. In 21 such violent incidents, four men lost their lives. Among them were, a 20-year-old young man, who was visiting his family for Eid celebrations. Shahrukh Khan was lynched by an agitated mob in Bareilly last year. In most recent case, massive mob turned violent and torched the police chowki in Bulandshahr. The SHO of the year was also killed in the violence. The state police have not been able to arrest the main accused in the case.
Apart from the ‘gau kalyan’ cess, the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet also took several decisions on Tuesday. The Yogi government has empowered the urban and rural civic bodies to run temporary shelters to take care of stray cattle. According to a government spokesperson, with the machines having taken over the traditional methods of agriculture, the cattle owners often abandon their livestock, leading to problems like damage to crops, traffic disruptions and road accidents. The new policy will enable the departments concerned to work in coordination with each other and achieve better results, he said. The state's Animal Husbandry Department too will help the civic bodies in their endeavour, he said, adding the government will strive to make these "gauvansh ashray asthal" self-sustaining.
Earlier last week, the chief minister had directed officials to make immediate arrangements for proper care of stray cows. He had also ordered to free grazing grounds from encroachments in different parts of the state. In a meeting with senior officials, the chief minister had asked them to set up a committee to consider measures for providing better shelter facilities to stray cows and directed Chief Secretary Anup Chandra Pandey to present recommendations on the issue in a week.
(With PTI inputs)