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Maharashtra distances itself from beef-ban monitors, facts don’t

The Indian Express had reported on August 22 that following this call, 2,371 applications were awaiting scrutiny by the High Court-appointed committee to Monitor Animal Welfare Laws.

Written by Smita Nair | Mumbai | Updated: January 27, 2017 2:57 pm
beef-ban-759 The Indian Express had reported on August 22 that following this call, 2,371 applications were awaiting scrutiny by the High Court-appointed committee to Monitor Animal Welfare Laws.

Seeking to distance itself from a controversial call issued by its animal husbandry department in May for “Honorary Animal Welfare Officers” to serve as “eyes to monitor the beef ban” imposed last year, the Maharashtra government has claimed that the exercise was undertaken by a former commissioner of the department “on his own initiative”.

However, records in the possession of The Indian Express clearly show that the call for applications was an official initiative launched through government channels — in the form of a letter dated May 12, 2016, signed by S S Bhosale, the then commissioner of animal husbandry, and sent to all the seven offices of regional joint commissioners and 33 district deputy commissioners of the department.

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Bhosale’s letter was also copied to the office of the principal secretary (animal husbandry) in the Mantralaya — the same official who has now claimed that Bhosale’s move was a personal initiative.

Referring to the amendment brought to the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act in March 2015, which banned the possession and transport of beef, Bhosale wrote: “However, it’s observed it’s not effective in some parts of the state.”

Having appointed honorary welfare officers in the past, the letter adds, “the department feels such officers should be in every region of the state. In the current scenario, such numbers are very short, and so to increase their numbers, we should invite applications from people, for the effective implementation of the Amended Act.” Bhosale retired on May 31, 2016.

The Indian Express had reported on August 22 that following this call, 2,371 applications were awaiting scrutiny by the High Court-appointed committee to Monitor Animal Welfare Laws. And that despite specific criteria disallowing political/religious links, many applications cleared include those who have admitted to being members of various Hindutva outfits, including Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, Ram Sena, Hindu Sena, Shiv Sena, Durgavahini, Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

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The report, based on an independent review of all the applications, found that over 60 per cent of applicants have identified themselves as “gau rakshaks” with affiliation to existing gaushalas and gau rakshan samitis. Each application had been endorsed by district deputy commissioners of animal husbandry, with officers having “vouched for the sincerity and integrity of the applicant” and taking “responsibility for their conduct”.

However, in response to the report, Bijay Kumar, principal secretary (animal husbandry) on August 24, said in a statement: “It, hereby, is clarified that the department of animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries has not issued any directives to its field officers to call for applications for selection as ‘Honorary Animal Welfare Officers’ by the High Court-appointed committee to Monitor Animal Welfare Laws in Maharashtra. The High Court appointed committee… has already designated about 134 honorary animal welfare officers. It is learnt that the former commissioner, animal husbandry, has, on his own initiative, invited and collected about 2,202 applications and forwarded them to the said committee with stated purpose of assisting the said committee.”

The Indian Express report was a follow-up to an earlier report in the newspaper on July 28, which found that over 1,900 people had responded to the call from the department. The report further said that the “unprecedented response” followed the “special drive” organised by Bhosale in May.

In July, G P Rane, joint commissioner of animal husbandry (HQ), who was the acting in-charge, told The Indian Express: “We will wait for the advice of the committee. The idea of our former commissioner was to effectively implement the beef ban. If there are more people monitoring, there will be a better control. The honorary officers would have worked along with the police and other departments to help implement the amended Act. They will be responsible for general animal welfare as well.”

Besides, the court-appointed committee itself had stated that the applications were called by the former commissioner and that a decision on them has been included on the panel’s agenda in September.

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    Amar Akbar
    Aug 30, 2016 at 7:26 am
    Show is it possible that 10 to 15 % may be beef eaters are ready to hurt the sentiments of 80% of the people? You talk about US. Let's talk about it. It is illegal to eat cats and dogs. Can the minority 5% of Oriental potion of Chinese Korean etc eat them in US claiming USA is a secular country and they can eat anything they want? Horse meat is banned in Australia. Can the French who eat it be allowed to eat in Australia. Every day Indian express tries to identify some article to hurt the sentiments of Hindus and the Christian and jihadi sunni lobby jumps and hurts the sentiments of Hindus. Enough is enough. You want to eat beef go to stan. You want to eat pork stay in India. You don't like it. So he it. Is it repressive? Well if you think so don't live here. So be it. Jai Hind.
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      alam
      Aug 30, 2016 at 5:58 am
      DISCRIMINATION IS VERY EASY ESPECIALLY IN INDIA, IT IS EASIEST WAY OF GETTING PORITY, FAME JUST BY TARGETING 09 % OF MUSLIM. WHY THIS HINDU ORGANISATION ARE NOT TALKING OF BJP LED GOVT IN GOA WHERE BJP GOVT HAS TO IMPORT BEEF FROM OTHER STATES TO MEET THEIR REQUIREMENTDIA IS LARGEST EXPORTER OF BEEF IN THIS WORLD? WHY THIS ORGANISATION ARE NOT STOPPING AL-KABEER / ARABIAN EXPORTS (BELONGS TO HINDUS) FROM EXPORTING BEEF FROM INDIA?
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        alam
        Aug 30, 2016 at 5:59 am
        Dear Indians,Please see the LARGEST BEEF EXPORTING COMPANIES THAT BELONGS TO NON-MUSLIM. WHY NO BAN ON THESE COMPANIES?lt;br/gt;1) Al-Kabeer Exports Pvt. Ltd.lt;br/gt;Its owner name: Mr. Shatish andMr. Atul Sabharwallt;br/gt;Add: 92, Jolly makers, Chembur Mumbai 400021lt;br/gt;2) Arabian Exports Pvt.Ltd.lt;br/gt;Owner’s name: Mr.Sunil Kapoorlt;br/gt;Add: Russian Mansions, Overseas, Mumbai 400001
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          alam
          Aug 30, 2016 at 6:03 am
          India is projected to be the largest exporter of beef in the world in 2015 followed by Brazil and Australia. Beef exports in India include carabeef. lt;br/gt;Four (4) countries are projected to export more than 1 million metric tons of beef in 2015. India, Brazil Australia and the United States.lt;br/gt;India and Brazil are projected to account for roughly 43% of the world's beef exports.lt;br/gt; lt;br/gt;World Rank Country 2015 Changelt;br/gt;1 India 2,400,000 23.53%lt;br/gt;2 Brazil 2,005,000 19.66%lt;br/gt;3 Australia 1,590,000 15.59%lt;br/gt;4 United States 1,098,000 10.76%lt;br/gt;5 New Zealand 555,000 5.44%lt;br/gt;6 Paraguay 440,000 4.31%lt;br/gt;7 Canada 375,000 3.68%lt;br/gt;8 EU 310,000 3.04%lt;br/gt;9 Belarus 225,000 2.21%lt;br/gt;10 Mexico 210,000 2.06%
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            agajan
            Aug 30, 2016 at 7:31 am
            Great information by sir alam long live alam sir long live india you are a biggest superstar in india
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