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Padma Shri German Woman Running Cow Shelter in UP Alleges Extortion, Threat to Life

Uddhav Bhatia, a frontline worker, touches a cow after applying cow dung on his body during "cow dung therapy", believing it will boost his immunity to defend against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam Gaushala or cow shelter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, May 9, 2021. Credits: Reuters.

Uddhav Bhatia, a frontline worker, touches a cow after applying cow dung on his body during "cow dung therapy", believing it will boost his immunity to defend against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam Gaushala or cow shelter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, May 9, 2021. Credits: Reuters.

The police have lodged an FIR against four named individuals and six to seven unidentified people for alleged trespassing and criminal intimidation

German-born Padma Shri recipient Friederike Irina Bruning, who runs a cow shelter in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura has alleged extortion and threat to life by some locals, who have been booked by the police, officials said. The police have lodged an FIR against four named individuals and six to seven unidentified people for alleged trespassing and criminal intimidation, among others, the officials said.

In her complaint to the police on Monday, the 61-year-old animal rights activist, now known as Sudevi Dasi, said she has been engaged in social service and working for animals in the Braj area in western UP for the last four decades. In the FIR, Dasi mentions an incident of October 10, 2020 when the accused trespassed into the cow shelter, fought with the workers and brandished firearms to threaten them.

Dasi, who was honoured with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour of India in 2019, alleged a repeat of such incident in December by the accused. When I intervened to save one of the workers, I was hurled with abuses and given life threat by the accused. They demanded extortion money or otherwise they would assault us regularly," Dasi claimed.

She said she complained about the matter to the Mathura senior superintendent of police twice on January 11 and January 18 this year but the accused created a similar episode on May 25 in which they assaulted workers and broke down the CCTV cameras installed on the cow shelter premises. Superintendent of Police (City) Martand Prakash Singh told .

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first published:June 22, 2021, 22:24 IST