Nawanshahr: Bhajan Singh, 70, a farmer of village Bora near Garhshankar, was cremated in his village on Friday afternoon. He was grievously injured by a stray bull on February 1 while guarding his fields. After a fortnight at PGI, he succumbed to his injuries on February 15. He is the second person in the village to die of injuries sustained from wild animals in the past couple of months.
Earlier, 60 year old Kanta Devi of the same village died in August last due to injuries by a stray bull. Another farmer Shinda, from the same village, is recuperating after being hit by another stray bull. Maha Singh Rouri, a well-known communist leader of Balachaur, currently working as the senior vice-president of Kandi Sangharsh Committee, Punjab is also nursing his injuries he had sustained after a bull injured him some time ago. Many people in Kandi had lost their lives in accidents caused by stray animals. Succinctly put people of Kandi area along the Shivalik foothills, continue to suffer both in terms of human lives and damage to crops on a daily-basis.
Interestingly, there are as many as eight ‘gaushalas’ in Balachaur area alone along with around 2,000 acres of land but the menace of stray and wild cattle including monkeys, neelgai, wild bulls and wild boar continue to play havoc with human lives besides flora and fauna. Despite donations by the ‘bhakats’, both in the form of money and fodder, these gaushalas are also reportedly getting government grants from time to time. Then there is the cow-cess which is being charged every month from the electricity consumers in the state for the proper upkeep of these gaushalas and cattle ponds. However, all this has failed to save human lives in Kandi.
Talking about the gravity of the situation with DP, Darshan Singh Mattu, state president of Kandi Sangharsh Committee, said that of late, the area was witnessing altogether fresh menace of stray and wild animals. “It is resulting in loss of brotherhood amongst the villagers as each one accuses the other of pushing animals to the others fields resulting in fights,” revealed Mattu, lamenting ‘sarkar sutti payee hai’ (the government is just sleeping over the issue). “The number of people dying in road accidents in the area is much more than the total numbers who were killed during the terrorism days,” maintained Mattu.
According to the farmers of the area including Ram Kishan of Pojewal, Jaswinder Singh, former sarpanch of Lallian village who himself had to save his life from a wild bull by crawling under his own tractor. Bishambar Singh of Denowal Khurd has demanded that the government must take immediate steps including providing facility of fodder and water for the wild animals in the forests itself so that such animals do not stray into human population in search of these things vital to life. He demanded lifting of all kinds of ban imposed on hunting such wild and dangerous animals and install iron and steel hedges on all the entry points of these animals into human habitations.
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