Cow-catchers deployed ahead of Yogi visit, district magistrate cancels order

Nine junior engineers were tasked with catching cattle that may get in Yogi's way

file_adityanath File: UP CM Yogi Adityanath | PTI

Nine junior engineers in Mirzapur have been tasked with the important job of keeping away stray animals off the path that the Chief Minister is likely to take on January 29 as part of the Ganga Yatra. 

An order issued on January 27 by the Executive Engineer, Public Works Department, reads “A visit of the chief minister is possible on January 29 as part of the Ganga Yatra to be held between January 27 and January 31. Keeping this in mind, as a precautionary measure the following junior engineers will be posted between the Police Lines and Birohi”. 

The order then names nine engineers and the start and end points between which they shall be standing. 

The duty they are entrusted with is explained in the following paragraph. “The above junior engineers with their gangs, on January 29 will stand with 8-10 ropes. If any stray animals come on to the road, they are to be tied so that there are no obstacles in the movement of the honourable chief minister”.

The ‘stray’ in this order is most likely to refer to cows which have become a menace in the state after Adityanath banned their slaughter and cow vigilantes unleashed tyranny in the name of cow protection. The government has since built cow shelters across the state to cater to cows which are abandoned by their owners after they stop giving milk. Last September the government also introduced a scheme called the 'Nirashrit/Besahara Govansh Sahbhagita Yojana' which put up these cows for adoption with the promise of paying Rs 30 per day to those who took them under their care. 

An ardent cow worshipper, it can only be imagined how well the state’s chief minister would look upon an order that dubs them ‘awara’ (a Hindi word that loosely translates into vagabond). 

The order has also been marked to the District Magistrate’s office. Yet, Sushil Kumar Patel, the DM of Mirzapur told THE WEEK, that he was not aware of any such specific order until our reporter brought it to his notice. “We have cow-catchers who work in a routine way to keep cows safe. In view of the Ganga Yatra, we have to be cautious that the devotees do not face any problem”, he said. The district magistrate contacted THE WEEK's reporter, ahead of the story being published and said that the order has been cancelled. “The letter had been issued by mistake and it has been cancelled,” he said.