MP Govt to Frame Law Against Cow Vigilantes, Proposes Jail and Fine
Bhopal: Taking a lesson from the Seoni incident of May 22, 2019, the Madhya Pradesh Congress government has decided to take stern action against those who resort to violence in the name of cow protection.
In Seoni district of the state, three persons, including a woman, were brutally beaten up by cow vigilantes who suspected them of carrying beef. The incident made headlines, leading to the state government proposing to frame a law in this regard.
The Madhya Pradesh cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to amend the Gauvansh Vadh Pratishedh Adhiniyam (Anti-cow Slaughter Act) and tabled it in the Assembly. The proposed amendment says, “those carrying cow flesh, indulging in violence or those caught for violating the law or damaging property a punishable offence. And they would be jailed for minimum six months, up to three years. Besides, depending on the degree of the crime, there would be a provision of fine between Rs 25,000 to 50,000.”
Currently, such offences are dealt with by sections in the Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code.
Earlier, the North-Eastern states had made such laws to stop cow vigilantes. Madhya Pradesh would be the first state amongst the big ones in the country where such a law would be made to check such violent incidents.
Speaking on the issue, additional chief secretary of the state Animal Husbandry Department, Manoj Shrivastava, said, “If the crowd indulges in cow violence, the minimum punishment would be one year, up to five years of imprisonment. In case a person indulges in same crime twice, the punishment would be doubled.”
“The proposed amendment also carries stringent laws against those who provoke the crowd for cow violence,” he added.
Incidents of mob lynching in the name of cow protection are being reported from across North India. According to a Reuters report, a total of 63 cow vigilante attacks occurred in India between 2010 and mid-2017, mostly since the Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014. In these attacks, "28 Indians – 24 of them Muslims – were killed and 124 injured", states the report.
And according to Human Rights Watch, between May 2015 and December 2018, at least 44 people – including 36 Muslims – were killed in such attacks. Police often stalled prosecutions of the attackers, while several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politicians publicly justified the attacks. In more than 100 attacks, about 280 people have been injured between the same period, the report says.
Earlier, the state government had taken two important steps to prevent cow violence: First, it scrapped the law which barred the sale of cows, except pashu mela. Second, it agreed to frame laws to transport cows. So, the farmers can not only sell and purchase the cows anywhere and transport their animals but also makes easier for the police to identify these.
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