Madurai, Mar 12: Close on the heels of the death of 15 cows at Sri Ramanathaswamy temple in Rameswaram, about 50 cows have reportedly died in the 'Gosala'(cow shed) of the famous Azhagar temple in this district due to various reasons, including malnutrition and improper care in the last one month.
According to sources, four cows died yesterday due to malnutrition. Though the gosala has the facility to maintain 150 cows, there were nearly 400 cows in the shed. Similarly, the employees to look after the cows were also inadequate. Only four employees were looking after the gosala, the sources said adding the temple has vast tracts of grazing lands for the cows.
The temple used to earn good revenue by auctioning the cows during the festival seasons. The revenue yielded through the auctioning was utilised for maintaining the gosala.
The temple was incurring huge expenditure on maintaining the cows after the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court recently stayed the auctioning of cows on a petition alleging the animals were being purchased for slaughter houses in Kerala. The cows were unable to bear the heat as it was an open cowshed, the sources said.
However, the temple authorities refused to divulge any details.
Azhagar Koil is the second temple in Tamil Nadu, next to Sri Ramanathaswamy temple in Rameswaram island where death of 15 cows have been reported in the recent past.
The death of 15 cows donated by devotees to the Sri Ramanathaswamy temple, recently due to alleged starvation had created a political stir with AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa, demanding the resignation of Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, owing moral responsibility for the incident.