DANG, Jan 4: Over 500 cows kept in the Swargadwari Ashram in Pyuthan are facing starvation due to the lack of adequate hay supply as UCPN (Maoist) cadres have not returned 200 bigahas of land belonging to the temple they captured during the insurgency.
The Swargadwari temple in Pyuthan district is Rapti zone´s famous pilgrimage site. With the cows facing starvation, the Ashram Management Committee has put out a notice requesting people for hay donation.
The temple´s priest Loknath Kashyap said most farmers who are doing plantation on the captured land have stopped donating hay to the Ashram. Also, devotees have also stopped donating hay.
Until last year, many believers in Dang and other districts used to collect hay from households and send it to the Ashram for feeding the cows.
But this hasn´t happened this year. Many of the devotees have stopped farming, and the land of many others remains captured by the Maoists, Kashyap said.
“Hay coming from paddy planted in 200 bigahas of land used to be enough to feed 1,000 cows,” he said. “The Maoists have not given us hay for years, and the number of people donating hay has also gone down,” he said.
With the land under Maoist capture, the Ashram is also facing problems arranging grazing area for the cows. Last year, the Ashram asked the District Administration Office to take initiative to return the land. However, the land remains captured by the Maoists.
Chief District Officer Krishna Shyam Budhathoki admitted receiving the request, but said the matter has been referred to the District Peace Committee.