Beginning from September 30 from Kurukshetra the Vishwa Mangal Gou Gram Yatra visited Uttarakhand on October 10. Though it touched only some parts of the state, people from far-flung areas turned to extend their support in the meetings organised in Dehradun, Haridwar and Roorkie. They returned with firm resolve to protect their cows at any cost and not let them go to the hands of smugglers and butchers.
The people of Chharba village, including some Muslims, practically materialised their resolve at the same night of October 10. They, with the help of local police, freed 40 cows from the smugglers and themselves came forward to protect them at their own cost. Most of the cows freed were wounded by the smugglers.
Though there is an anti-cow slaughter law in Uttarakhand, the smuggling of cows is still going in some parts especially at night. The police and local administration may be sluggish in enforcing the law but the villagers now appear in no mood to let their cows go to the hands of butchers. They are forcing the administration to completely ban the holding of ‘cattle fairs’ where govansh is purchased by the smugglers for slaughtering. Many people and organisations presented memorandums to the administration and there are demonstrations too to this effect.
In the latest incident, the people of Chharba village got the information of smuggling of cows. They, with the help of Sahaspur Police, raided the smugglers. Finding them caught from all sides the smugglers fled leaving behind the whole herd of cows. The police took the cows under their custody. But the practical problem developed then-where to keep the freed cows. Since there is too much cold in Uttarakhand, the cows cannot be kept in open. The villagers of Chharba came forward and offered to look after the cows. The police handed over the cows to young Village Pradhan Shri Rumi Ram Jaiswal who with the help of other villagers formed a Committee to look after the cows and also to set up a gaushala. According to Shri Jaiswal they took the responsibility of the cows on their own and they would involve the whole society in this pious task.
The administration too is helpless in such cases as there is no gaushala in the region where such cows could be kept. In this case, the Village Pradhan Shri Jaiswal, with the help of other villagers has started building a gaushala at their own cost. They have so far spent three lakh rupees on it. They have now decided to collect even the old and handicapped cows in this goushala so that the villagers do not sell them to buthcers.
The Cow Protection Committee formed in the village includes Shri Rumi Ram Jaiswal as president, Shri Rishi Ram Kala as vice president and Shri Arun Kumar as secretary. The other villagers who are contributing actively in this work included retired Sub Inspector Shri Sabbir, Shri Ranjeet, Shri Bhagwan Singh, Shri Harvansh, Shri Jagdish Chandel, Shri Girver Singh, Shri Virendra Pundir, Shri Ram Sharan, Shri Nanak Chand, Shri Neeraj Thakur, Shri Ami Chand, Shri Ram Chand, Shri Ravindra Kumar, Shri Bhoomi Singh, Shri Son Singh, Shri Khursheed, Shri Jumiya, Shri Kansi Ram, Shri Sahendra Pal Singh and Sardar Harbans Singh.
Talking to Organiser Shri Sabbir said Islam teaches respecting the people of all other religions. “The Muslims should not do any work which hurts the sentiments of others. Cow is a useful animal for all and she should be saved, protected and looked after by all,” he said pointing out that he himself has five cows at home. He said enacting law for cow protection is not enough. A strict punishment has to be ensured to those who kill her, he added. Another Muslim Shri Khurshid Ahmad just said, “Gou hamari mata hai, Janam Janam se nata hai”. He said cow is not just a revered animal for Hindus it is highly useful animal for all.
When contacted the Agriculture Minister of Uttarakhand Shri Trivendra Rawat said the government is taking all efforts to prevent cow slaughter in the state and the government is popularising the economic aspect of cow rearing by encouraging people to collect and sell cow urine.