Bulls and cows are a growing nuisance and pose a threat to public safety in several districts of Agra.
From bulls going on the rampage and attacking humans, to stray cattle entering fields and destroying crops to the fear of cow vigilantes after the ban on cow slaughter, the stray cattle menace is leading to resentment among all.
On Friday, a 22-year-old motorcycle rider was killed after being hit by a bull on Fatehabad road.
In Etmadpur and other areas, farmers locked cows and bulls in schools and government health centres as the animals routinely enter farmlands and destroy standing crops.
Above all, tension prevails in the neighbouring Iglas town of Aligarh after a dozen cows were found buried alive in a dry canal.
Cow vigilantes have demanded firm action but so far no arrests have been made.
“Our labour and resources are all going waste because of hundreds of cows entering our fields and destroying our crops,” complained Ram Bharosey, a villager in Farah block in Mathura.
In the past one week, there have been half a dozen incidents of desperate and frustrated farmers locking stray cattle in government schools.
“Children have had to miss classes as there is no space and there are only cows in the school complex,” said Anek Singh, a farmer.
Police sent to villages to drive away the cattle have had to face the ire of the locals who want the Yogi government to urgently open gaushalas (cow shelters).
“The bovine population has suddenly multiplied. Groups of villagers with lathis in hand have to patrol villages to drive cows away. If you do not keep vigil, the crops would be gone in a few hours,” Subhash, a village level worker, said.
District authorities in Agra, Mathura and Aligarh have had a series of meetings to resolve this problem. Gram panchayats have been asked to earmark pasture land and provide support to gaushalas.
“In this extremely cold weather, villagers are forced to spend the whole night in the fields to keep the animals away,” said a farmer. (IANS)