It costs him Rs.39,000 a month to house government cattle
Dhaniram Mallick never imagined that maintaining 26 cows thrust on him by West Bengal lawkeepers could bleed him to penury.kolkata Updated: Dec 17, 2009 15:48 IST
Dhaniram Mallick never imagined that maintaining 26 cows thrust on him by West Bengal lawkeepers could bleed him to penury.
Mallick, a resident of Naxalbari's Hatibiha area in Darjeeling, runs a cattle house which till some time ago gave him enough profits to feed his family.
But one fine September morning, police seized 26 stolen cows which were being smuggled to Bangladesh and put them in Mallick's cow shed. All the eight offenders were put behind bars but Mallick was not given a single rupee to maintain the bovines.
Since then, these animals have eaten up fodder worth thousands of rupees. Now Mallick has to shell out Rs.1,300 daily to feed all the 26 'government cows' which adds up to Rs.39,000 a month.
"I've written repeatedly to the authorities concerned but the police are just dragging their feet on the whole issue. What else can I do now? I have almost been reduced to a mere beggar," Mallick said.
Mallick, who used to charge Rs.50 a day for housing one cow in his shed, has now been forced to mortgage his one-and-a half bigha land and take a loan of Rs.80,000 to feed these holy animals.
Since the police have turned a deaf ear to his pleas, Mallick is now planning to take the legal route to dispose off the cows. He has already consulted a lawyer to find a way to get rid of the 'government cows'.
However, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Siliguri) Sitaram Sinha said he would take immediate steps if he gets a letter from the cow shed owner.