The Ayodhya police have arrested a man accused of raping cows at a shelter for the bovine animals. According to the police, volunteers at the shelter run by an Ayodhya ashram caught the man red-handed on Tuesday.

The volunteers of Kartaliya Baba Ashram n Ayodhya kept a vigil on the shelter after they came across CCTV footage showing the man raping several cows, the police said.

Accused Raj Kumar was caught when he came to the shelter again and attempted to rape cows.

The volunteers allegedly beat up Raj Kumar before handing him over to the police.

Ayodhya SSP Jogendra Kumar said the man had been booked under Sections 376 and 511 of the Indian Penal Code for cruelty against animals.

“The CCTV footage shows the man doing dastardly acts with seven cows, one by one. We have caught him and brought to the police station. The act has left us distraught, we are unable to understand this,” Ramdas, a priest at the Kartaliya Baba Ashram, told reporters.

Raj Kumar, who is from Gonda district, told the police that he committed the crime in a drunken state.

“I was drunk, I don’t know what I did. I only remember that I was beaten by the people who caught me and the police,” Raj Kumar said.

(With agency inputs)