Trust demands ₹1.7 lakh maintenance fees from them for looking after the 39 head of cattle
Nearly a month after failing to get their cattle back from gau rakshaks who had ‘seized’ the animals from them on May 25 and later filed a complaint claiming that the animals were being transported for slaughter, six farmers staged a protest outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Tumakuru on Tuesday. Members of the Republican Party of India also lent their support to the protest.
During investigation, the police had shifted the cows to the Dhyan Foundation Gaurakshak Trust in M.H. Patna in Gubbi taluk. And though the farmers were able to prove that they had purchased the cows for dairy purposes, the Trust is now demanding ₹1.7 lakh fees for looking after the 39 head of cattle.
The farmers from Belagavi had travelled to Erode in Tamil Nadu to purchase 37 Jersey cows and two buffaloes for dairy purposes. All the animals were pregnant. On the return journey, as they passed through Tumakuru, around 200 gaurakshaks from the Bhagat Kranthi Sene stopped the two lorries in which the cattle were being transported. They allegedly attacked the farmers and the lorry drivers, and took the cattle to the local police station.
The sub-inspector registered the case against the farmers and sent the cows and buffaloes to the goshala on May 25. The police allegedly told the farmers to submit proper documents to prove that the animals were not going to be slaughtered.
The case was tried in court and on June 5, the JMFC court in Tumakuru ordered that the cattle be returned to the farmers. The court also noted that the farmers pay the goshala ₹50 per day as maintenance charges per cow. However, when the police and farmers went to the goshala, they refused to give the cattle back demanding a higher amount.
The farmers have spent the better part of the month running from pillar to post trying to get their cattle back. “I had bought six pregnant cows at ₹50,000 each and I have taken a loan of ₹5 lakh by mortgaging six acres of land. For over 20 days, we have been struggling to get back our cattle. We have incurred a loss of ₹4 lakh as each cow gives a minimum of 25 litres of milk per day,” said Rathik Jatagar, a farmer from Kudichi in Belagavi.