Farmers in Odisha’s Kendrapara district on Tuesday let loose livestock in Rajnagar block and subdivision offices in protest against lack of steps to protect their crops from damage by herds of stray cattle.
Officials said that work in both the offices came to a standstill for about three hours as stray cattle invaded office rooms.
“We locked up the stray cattle in both the offices. It was a symbolic protest to send a message to the local administration,” said Deepak Behera, a farmer from Gopalpur village who participated in the agitation.
“The officials have assured us they would set cattle shelter houses to address our grievances,” Behera said.
Ashok Swain, a farmer from Rajnagar, said the cattle menace had assumed alarming proportions in their areas.
The animals are destroying standing crops and have become a serious threat to human lives, Swain said.
“There are genuine grounds for the farmers to stage a protest of this nature,” Rajnagar Tehsildar Bholanath Sethi said.
“We will soon identify land to build a cow shelter where stray animals will be kept,” Sethi added.