UP: IAS officer, four others suspended over alleged negligence in management of cow shelter

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Government of Uttar Pradesh has suspended the District Magistrate (DM) of Maharajganj, a sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), a former SDM, a chief veterinary officer and a veterinary officer for negligence in cow protection.

According to reports, continuous complaints were received about negligence in the upkeep of stray cows at Madhvaliya cow shelter in Nichlaul tehsil, Maharajganj district and it was discovered that on the pretext of fodder and maintenance of cattle, the number of cattle was deliberately increased on paper to misuse public funds.

A probe found that the said cow shelter, which claimed to have 2,500 cows, only had 954 cows in reality. It also found that 328 acres (out of 500 acres) of animal husbandry department land meant for the cow shelter was instead leased out to private individuals illegally.

According to UP Chief Secretary R K Tiwari, there was a huge difference in the numbers but none of the local officials were able to give a clear clarification or explanation in this regard; serious negligence on the part of local officials was found. He added that the government has top priority towards cow and its progeny and also towards clean administration and therefore these officers have been suspended with immediate effect after they were found prima-facie guilty in the inquiry.

The suspended officers are: DM of Maharajganj, Amar Nath Upadhyaya; the then SDM of Nichlaul, Devendra Kumar; present SDM of Nichlaul, Satyam Mishra; chief veterinary officer, Rajiv Upadhyaya; deputy veterinary officer, V K Maurya. The DM was also the chairman of the working committee of the cow shelter concerned and the other officers were its members.

The government has also directed that an FIR be registered in the matter and that further audit be done into anomalies in the operations of the cow shelter.

Ujjwal Kumar, Municipal Commissioner, Prayagraj, has been appointed the new District Magistrate of Maharajganj with immediate effect.

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