Bhopal: The Congress government in Madhya Pradesh tabled a bill in the Assembly that seeks to amend a BJP-era law to prescribe jail terms for violence in the name of cow vigilantism and ease bovine transportation.
Animal Husbandry Minister Lakhan Singh Yadav tabled the Madhya Pradesh Cow Progeny Slaughter Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2019, in the ongoing monsoon session of the Assembly.
The amendment to the Cow Progeny Slaughter Prevention Act, 2004, enacted by the previous Shivraj Singh Chouhan government, proposes jail terms ranging from six months to five years for those engaging in violence in the name of cow vigilantism.
According to the bill, a person engaging in violence in the name of cow protection would face a jail term of six months to three years and attract a fine of Rs 25,000. It proposes prison term of a minimum one year and maximum five years with Rs 50,000 fine in case a mob is involved in such violence.
Furthermore, the proposed legislation seeks to double the jail term for repeat offenders. Besides, the bill proposes to ease transportation of cows which often invite the wrath of ‘gau rakshaks’ (cow protectors).
According to the proposed amendment, buyers of cows have to seek permission from the competent authority in their area to ferry them. The bill was cleared at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Kamal Nath last month.
The buyers of bovines, especially farmers in MP, can approach the area sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of the district and seek a no-objection certificate (NOC) with details like number of cows and transportation route after the bill is passed, Yadav had said earlier.
“The SDM’s NOC would have to be pasted on the vehicle ferrying the cows not numbering more than 25 at one go purchased from other states as well,” he had said.
However, BJP MLA Yashpal Singh Sisodiasaid the proposed amendment could lead to surge in cow slaughter and hence, his party would oppose the said amendment.
The move to tweak the 2004 cow protection law comes in the wake of an incident in Seoni district where a minority community man and a woman were thrashed last month by a group of people on suspicion of carrying beef.
(With inputs from PTI)