With days left for Bakr Eid or Eid al-Adha, Congress legislator Imran Khedawala has written to the Gujarat Police chief asking to ensure that those transporting livestock in Ahmedabad ahead of the festival are not harassed by “fringe cow protection groups”.
Eid al-Adha is expected to be celebrated in India on July 30 this year. Congress MLA from Jamalpur Khadia constituency Imran Khedawala wrote a letter to Director General of Police (DGP) Shivanand Jha where he stated that those transporting livestock except that of cow and calf, must not be harassed by fringe elements.
“Like every year, this year Bakr Eid is going to be celebrated on July 30. I demand that you pass an order asking police to ensure that the farmers transporting sheep, goats, buffaloes and its calf, in their vehicles with their proper receipts, permission documents from the Regional Transport Office (RTO) and good drinking, eating and resting facility for the livestock must not be stopped and harassed illegally by the fringe fundamentalist groups (sic),” said Khedawala.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Khedawala told that illegal patrolling by fringe elements on highways of Gujarat have resulted in loss of business for farmers and a rift in society.
“Every year, the farmers who raise livestock, except those of cow and its calves, try to transport them from Rajasthan and remote areas of Gujarat to the cities. In Ahmedabad, we have seen that their vehicles are intercepted by the fundamentalist groups who then call upon the police and then the animals are seized and brought to Panjrapole Gaushala area in Ahmedabad. These groups have no power or jurisdiction to act and they often harass the drivers and farmers transporting the animals which results in further friction in the society… The farmers spend at least two years in keeping care of the livestock ahead of Bakr Eid and each one of them cost at least Rs 20,000 during the festival time. It’s a huge loss for them as animals are sent to Pinjrapole and cases start in court. Moreover, there is no grazing land in the city area where the animals are kept once seized,” said Khedawala. The Congress legislator also spoke about the rampant use of the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals Act whenever vehicles transporting livestock are caught by police.
“The people transporting the livestock are farmers and they themselves ensure that their loved animals are being ferried in the safest manner possible with proper eating, drinking and resting facilities. Many a times, they also carry medicines for the animals lest they fall sick during the journey. Also, the journey is hardly an overnight one from Rajasthan border areas to cities in Gujarat,” added Khedawala.
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