Kendrapara, Oct 28 (LocalWire): Farmers were up-in-arms and let loose stray cattle in the block office at Rajnagar during the public hearing of the Collector today.
‘We released stray cattle in the office during public hearing to shake up the government officials who did not respond to repeated requests or take any steps to check stray cattle menace,’ said Arabinda Pradhan, a farmer from Rajnagar.
Many employees as well as the public went running for their lives after bulls, cows, buffaloes and other animals entered the boundary of the block office and the public hearing was abruptly halted.
‘We have been seeking the government’s help to check stray cattle menace by establishing animal shelter homes. But the officials did not pay any heed to our pleas.
Many farmers used to sell bulls and heifers to the butchers but with saffron brigades halting the transport of cattle to other areas, it has been stopped. The stray animals destroy our crops,’ said Manoj Behera a farmer of Ajagarapatia village.
‘We staged a protest in the block office during the public hearing and demanded time-bound measures from the officials to check the growing menace of stray cattle’, said Balabhadra Mallick, a farmer from Barahapur village.
Farmers submitted a memorandum to the Collector seeking his direct intervention in the matter as the menace had assumed alarming proportions in the district.
‘The problem of stray cattle and bulls attacking people is rising day by day but there is no action from the authorities. Many farmers are so terrified that in some villagers have to go to the fields in groups, armed with sticks,’ said Abhiram Swain a farmer of Rajnagar.
‘The population of stray cattle is rising rapidly as officials and leaders of BJP and Bajarang Dal are preventing us to sell the animals,’ alleged Surya Sahoo of Rajnagar.
‘Farmers in this region are facing a lot of problems due to increasing stray cattle menace. Each year stray cattle and bulls destroy crops worth lakhs in these areas,’ said Haripada Sahoo, a farmer of Chandannagar.
‘People don’t kill stray cattle as many Hindus worship them. Many farmers are not growing vegetables due to this menace. APOWA, an NGO is running an animal shelter home in the district but it refused to keep stray cattle,’ alleged Bhagawan Das a farmer of Kereragada.
Samarth Verma, the Collector of Kendrapada said, ‘We will soon build many pounds and pens in the district to keep stray animals. The district administration will soon discuss with the forest officials, agriculture officials, animal activists and farmers to solve this issue.’