Around 20 cattle farmers in Mayyanad of Kollam district in Kerala have been faced with an unusual problem. They allege that a person has been sexually assaulting their cows since January 2021. Troubled due to the assault, Thambi, who had seven cows, has sold off four of them. His cows were assaulted five times since January, he claims.
"In the beginning, we thought someone who had a personal grudge was assaulting the cows. Later, many other farmers raised the same issue. That is how we realised this person was using cows for unnatural sexual activity," Thambi tells TNM.
The cows were tied, beaten up, sticks would be inserted in the anal area or their breasts were injured using stones, the farmers allege. Thambi said that his cows still take medicine after the assaults. "Even yesterday, the doctor visited and gave two injections. Once, one of the cows was found in an unconscious state with white liquid oozing out of her mouth. We are planning to sell off the remaining cows too," he adds.
The farmers had filed a police complaint with Eravipuram police, but allege no action was taken, following which some of the locals formed a group to track down the person. "We checked some CCTV visuals and found out that this person jumps the compound wall and comes at night. We passed on his photograph to the locals. We finally caught him two days ago and handed him over to the police. But he was let off the same day for lack of evidence," Thambi said.
The assault mainly happens to adult female cows, the farmers claim and a long term treatment is required for them to get back to good health.
Gopakumar, another farmer, says that he is also planning to sell off the cows. His cows were assaulted thrice after being tied tightly to a pillar, he alleges. "We can't guard them at night. I am planning to sell them off. They were our livelihood, but can't see them getting tortured this way," he said.
Thambi said that people who own small and large cattle farms are facing this issue.
However, Eravipuram police told TNM that a suspect brought by the farmers was not mentally stable and they had no evidence against him. Police added that they are inquiring into the complaint and no evidence has been received yet.