Tension prevailed in the city after 39 cows were found dead under the mysterious circumstances in a cowshed run by the municipal corporation, on Tuesday night.
The Punjab Gau Sewa Commission (PGSC) has formed a special investigation team (SIT), comprising the deputy commissioner (DC) and senior superintendent of police (SSP), Patiala, look into the incident and submit the report about the actual cause of the deaths within seven days.
Meanwhile, Kimti Bhagat, chairman, Punjab Gau Sewa Commission, reached the spot and cremated the dead cattle with Hindu rituals at Ghalouri Gate cremation ground on Wednesday morning.
However, to avoid any untoward incident, district administration had banned the entry of people into the cremation ground and had also deputed heavy police force across the city. However, no untoward incident was reported in the district.
"The exact cause of the death is yet to be known, but as per our commission's inspection, we suspect that poor quality of fodder and water could be a cause of the deaths. Moreover, the condition of the cowshed is pathetic and facilities provided by the corporation to the cattle are pitiable," the PGSC chairman said.
Bhagat said, "I have directed DC Varun Roojam and SSP Gurmeet Singh Chauhan to submit the inquiry report to the commission within seven days and take strict action against everyone found guilty for death of the cattle."
Sources in the police said the preliminary investigation indicated that the cause of deaths could be due to over spray of pesticide on fodder, as a very high level of nitrate was found in the fodder.
The municipal corporation few years ago had handover the cowshed to a local-based NGO to run and manage its work.
Police officials said, finding negligence on the part of the local NGO in the preliminary investigation, they have booked the manager of the NGO, Payal Sodhi, under sections 3/5/11 of the Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act and 429 (mischief by killing or maiming cattle), 295A and 153 (intended to outrage religious feelings), for conducting negligence in the cowshed.
Following the information of the deaths of cows, hundreds of city residents rushed to spot at cattle pound on Sanaur Road in the city on Tuesday night and demanded the immediate arrest of the accused and the resignation of mayor Amarinder Bajaj, accusing negligence in providing proper facilities to the cattle in the corporation's cattle pound.
However, DC, SSP and mayor along with other administration officials reached the spot and pacified the protesters, assuring proper investigation into the incident.
The DC also called the veterinary experts on the spot at night and instructed them to check and give proper treatment to remaining 207 cattle in the cowshed, ensuring that no more harm was reported.
Meanwhile, the Gau Sewa Commission said accused would be punished under the Cow Slaughter Act and they would get imprisonment of about 10 year, along with Rs 10, 000 for committing this crime.