75 cows, buffaloes ‘die mysteriously’ at NDRI; probe on

HARYANA : At least 75 cows and buffaloes died mysteriously at Haryana’s National Dairy Research Institute over the past week, according to a complaint filed by an animal rights activist. Preliminary investigations indicate they were given toxic feed.

While a team from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly, landed in Karnal Monday and initiated an investigation, animal rights activist Naresh Kadyan has filed a police complaint against NDRI Director Dr R B Singh, alleging that the director and other officials buried the dead animals without conducting a post-mortem and “hushed up” the matter.

Despite repeated attempts, Dr R B Singh could not be reached for comment.

“As many as 75 cows and buffalo died due to poisonous feed and were buried without a post-mortem on the premises of NDRI. It is utter violation of procedure and has created heavy losses for the government. It began about a week ago when three buffaloes died and the NDRI claimed the deaths were a result of snake bite and buried them without post-mortem,” said Kadyan.

An IVRI team member told  “Our team was called by NDRI. One of their representatives had sent certain viscera and blood samples of the deceased animals. But since the deaths continued, our team came here. Further investigations are on. Prima facie it appears that the deaths were caused by toxic feed that was purchased by the institute around 10 days ago. Further investigations are on.”

Karnal Superintendent of Police Surinder Singh Bhoria said, “We have received an online complaint against the NDRI director on charges of criminal conspiracy and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption and Cow Slaughter Acts. We have lodged a DDR (Daily Diary Report). Since it is a technical matter, we shall be taking a team of animal husbandry department officers to the spot tomorrow and initiate further course of action.”

The NDRI at Karnal is one of the country’s premier research institutes on dairy development in the country.