Overcrowded Uttar Pradesh Prisons Will Now Shelter Cows As Well

Cow shelters will be set up in 12 district jails where old and abandoned cows will be housed.

Now prisoners in UP will soon be tending to cows as the Yogi Adityanath government has allocated Rs 2 crore to build gaushalas in UP jails. Cow shelters will be set up in 12 district jails where old and abandoned cows will be housed.

Speaking to reporters, State Prison Minister Jai Kumar Singh said that cow-sheds will be set up inside 12 district jails for now. The districts that have chosen to open cow shelters are Meerut, Gorakhpur, Sultanpur, Kanpur Dehat, Balrampur, Noida, Firozabad, Kannauj, Agra, Barabanki, Sitapur and Raebareli.

“All these will house abandoned old cows,” he said, adding that ‘people will not only get milk but with cow dung, organic vegetables can also be produced’.

“Our prisoners will get fresh milk and vegetables. It will also create a good environment,” the minister said. The President of Ram Janma Bhoomi Nyas welcomed UP government’s initiative, and said tending cows will help the prisoners ‘become better human beings’.

“It’s a good initiative, cow shelters should be opened. Those who live in jail are often jobless and have nothing to do. If they look after cows, it will make them wise, they will not get involved in anti-social activities. I laud this initiative of Yogiji (Adjityanath), he has take a great step,” he told news agency ANI.

However, critics argue that jails are already overpopulated and it will only make prisoners’ condition worse.

The Samajwadi Party has slammed the government saying that it should focus on issues that concern people. Party MLC Sunil Sajan said that “jails are already overpopulated and conditions of prisoners are extremely bad,” India Today reported.

An RTI query last year revealed that UP Prisons hold 60% more inmates than its permissible capacity. As of May 30, 2017 there were 93,301 prisoners in UP jail despite the official capacity of 58,111 persons.