Fisheries department officials reached the Ram Tirath Temple on Tuesday after around 2,000 dead fish were found floating in its holy pond, 10 km from here, on Monday.
Sandeep Rishi, chairman of the Amritsar Improvement Trust that is supervising the ambitious Ram Tirath project for converting the place into a tourist hub, said: “Preliminary investigations indicate the fish died because of biological oxygen demand (BOD), but if that was the case then all fish, which number around 7,000, should have died.”
Rishi said most of the fish found dead were “big-sized”, which calls for a thorough probe by the officials concerned.
Manjit Giri, Jagtar and Avtar, priests of the ancient Bhagwan Valmiki temple located on the premises, accused the authorities of adopting a lax attitude in maintaining minimum water level in the pond to ensure adequate oxygen for fish.
Officials of the fisheries department who reached the site suspect the fish were given “poisonous” diet, leading to the incident.
Officials, on the condition of anonymity, said some miscreants could have done this to create panic or affect the ongoing work at the site. “Also, some devotees could have thrown fungus-infected eatables in the pond, on which the fish fed,” they said.
The officials said they are probing the matter and will also work on preventive measures for future. Thousands of fish in the pond had died in 2004 as well.