Mansa stray cattle menace: Victim’s kin keep body on road, say demands not met

Sunny was killed Friday night when he was bringing milk for his children, taking the number of stray cattle-related deaths to six in the past five weeks in the district.

The family of Sunny Singh (24), who was killed in a road accident after his motorcycle was allegedly hit by stray cattle, did not cremate his body for the second day on Sunday and placed it on a public road instead, stating that their demands had not been met.

Sunny was killed Friday night when he was bringing milk for his children, taking the number of such deaths to six in the past five weeks in the district. The incident took place in Jawaharke village of Mansa district. Though Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Mansa, Avjit Kaplish had a meeting with the family and villagers, it did not yield any results.

The family, through the Mansa Stray Cattle Struggle Committee, has demanded compensation worth Rs 20 lakh, a government job and a statement by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on this issue. Though there was no official word from the office of deputy commissioner, Mansa, sources said Rs 2 lakh compensation was offered to the family, alongwith assurance of a job as per qualification on DC rate (temporary job), which was declined by the family and struggle committee members.

Meanwhile, the body was kept in a freezer on Gurdwara road in Jawaharke village. Gurlabh Singh, a member of the committee, who took part in the meeting with the SDM said, “We were asked to keep the body in the mortuary instead on the road, but we have refused the same. It will be lying on the road till our demands are met. It is a serious issue and administration need to know about it.”

A separate dharna by the struggle committee entered its tenth day in Mansa town on Gurdwara road Sunday, led by women members. The dharna had started on September 13 in the form of Mansa bandh and later converted into an indefinite dharna. Though a meeting between struggle committee members, SSP and DC took place on September 14, it did not yield any results.

Despite several attempts, Mansa DC Apneet Kaur Riyait could not be reached for comment.

I stick to my stand: Aman Arora

Aman Arora, co-convenor of AAP and MLA from Sunam area was present at the Jawaharke dharna as one of the speakers Sunday. “I stick to my stand that American breeds of cattle should be slaughtered and desi cows should be kept in gaushalas,” he said.

When told that his own party members are not on the same page with him over the issue, he said, “But I stick to my stand and in the Vidhan Sabha session, I will raise the issue with the government to make it a law. Under the Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955, differentiation needs to be done between American and desi breeds of cow. Once it is done, it will be easy to slaughter the American breeds. If the government will not bring this ordinance, I will bring the private member bill in the session as this is the only solution to stray cattle menace.”

However, his own party MLA and LoP Harpal Singh Cheema opposed this viewpoint, though he did state that a Vidhan Sabha session needs to be called on the issue.

Meanwhile, RSS’s Gau Sanwardhan unit has stated that the government must promote only desi cows and they have religious beliefs only for desi cows and not for American cows, but they are against slaughtering of any animal.

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