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Cows, hens: all in DM house

- Malda official leaves behind a small animal farm

Malda, Dec. 3: The big question in Malda now: whether Godala Kiran Kumar will sanction money for a shed to keep his animals he has left behind before or after it is built.

District magistrate Kiran Kumar, who has been sent on 15 days’ leave after being arrested and granted bail in connection with alleged payment of contractors for projects that were never completed during his tenure as the chief executive officer of the Siliguri-Jalpaiguri Development Authority, has left behind a small animal farm and the question — what will happen to them?

Kiran Kumar has taken with him his two dogs but left behind a cow, a calf, one buffalo and its calf, hens and geese. The animals are being taken care of by the nine employees responsible for the upkeep of the DM’s bungalow. The animals are kept in a room on the three-acre estate.

Some of the nine employees, who cook and clean, used to look after the animals when Kiran Kumar was around.

The DM’s companions
• A cow and its calf
• A buffalo and a calf
• Six hens
• Two geese

Officials said the DM’s daughter used to come to his office, adjacent to his bungalow, with the dogs — a golden retriever and a St. Bernard.

Acting district magistrate Nilkamal Biswas, who will function as the DM for the time being, said after a visit to the bungalow yesterday morning that the staff would continue to look after the animals.

“I visited the bungalow after the district magistrate left. There are some cows, buffaloes and poultry there. I have instructed the staff to continue tending to the animals. I know that the district magistrate is on a fortnight’s leave and I have not seen any government order saying anything else. Besides, the bungalow is still in the name of G. Kiran Kumar. We have not been informed by the government whether he will remain as the district magistrate,” Biswas said.

What animals Kiran Kumar took with him
Two dogs — a golden retriever and a St Bernard

Government sources had said yesterday that Kiran Kumar had been removed from the post of Malda DM and three officials had been shortlisted to replace him.

Partha Mitra, the personal assistant of the district magistrate, said that as far as he knew, Kiran Kumar was on leave.

“I know that the district magistrate has gone on leave. I have not seen any government order saying otherwise. I could not meet the district magistrate as he left very early last morning. That is all I can say,” Mitra said.