After Maharastra, the Haryana government is all set introduce a bill in the Budget session to ban beef and cow slaughter in the state, says a report in CNN-IBN. The report adds the government intends to slap punishment under section 302, which amounts to murder, for those who caught slaughtering cows and possessing beef.
The reports points out that Haryana Agriculture Minister Om Parkash Dhankar had on said on 8 March that the state will get bill for “protection and upkeep” of cows. The proposed act is called ‘Govansh Sanrakashan and Gau Samvardhan (Cow Protection and Cow Conservation and Development) Bill’.
“For the scientific test and analysis, government is considering to establish laboratories to differentiate beef from meat of that of other animal species. Test reports of these laboratories will be valid evidence in the court of law,” Dhankar said adding that sale of packaged beef has been banned in the state.
The state will provide also financial and technical support to cow welfare organisations that help in taking care of sick, injured, stray and uneconomic cows.
This is not the first time that the Haryana government has indicated that it was serious about protecting cows and banning the sale of beef. We had noted in an earlier report on Firstpost that before the elections in the state, the BJP had promised to introduce penal provisions to ensure that punishment for cow slaughter is on a par with the punishment for murder.
The Haryana BJP president had said the law would be amended to raise the punishment for cow slaughter from the present five years imprisonment to penalties equal to the crime of murder.
At present the maximum punishment for cow slaughter in Haryana is five years jail with fine up to Rs 5000. But if the punishment becomes similar to murder, the minimum punishment will be life term, which sounds excessively harsh.
In case of Maharashtra, the bill banning cow slaughter in Maharashtra, which was pending for nearly 20 years, received the President’s assent on 3 March. This measure has taken almost twenty years to materialise was initiated during the previous Sena-BJP government.
The bill was first submitted to the President for approval on January 30, 1996. However, subsequent governments at the Centre, including the BJP-led NDA stalled it and did not seek the President’s consent.
After the approval, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted, “Thanks a lot honourable President sir for the assent on Maharashtra Animal Preservation Bill. Our dream of ban on cow-slaughter becomes reality now.”
In Maharashtra other than cows, the new law bans beef from the slaughter of bulls and bullocks, which was previously allowed based on a fit-for-slaughter certificate. The new Act will, however, allow the slaughter of water buffaloes. The punishment for the sale of beef or possession of it could be prison for five years with an additional fine of Rs 10,000 in the state. If Haryana makes cow slaughter equivalent to murder, it will take a step ahead of Maharashtra.