The Shiv Senapati Mohite Gaushala, on the outskirts of Pune is home to about 200 cattle, cows as well as bulls. Most of them said to be ‘rescued’ by self-styled cow-vigilantes attached to the shelter, sometimes using violent methods.
However, the real scenario is that most of the cattle seizures are booked by the police under milder animal cruelty laws – not slaughter – and courts regularly hand the cattle back to the owners pending a final settlement.
But the cattle shelter run by well-connected person like Mr Modak’s doesn’t seem to have much respect for the law.
Cow-vigilantes frequently attack trucks carrying cattle on the highway.
In 2011, cattle worth Rs. 80,000 was seized from Ahmed Sheikh, a Pune-based cattle trader and brought to shelter. The court ordered them to be released for a Rs. 48,000 bond.
But when the police arrived to collect the cattle, they said they found the owner missing. Finally, they had to register an FIR against the shelter.
The cattle have still not been handed over as the police are scared to enter these shelters run by outfits with political clout.
MM Sayeed, a lawyer for Pune’s cattle traders reported that around 25,000 cattle have been seized in this particular Pune area, but the shelters holds not find more than 200 cattle.
Where does this cattle go, the only conclusion is that “gaushala owners themselves engage in the buying and selling of our animals”.