Asserting that cow slaughter would be dealt with a heavy hand in Gujarat, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Saturday said the state government has “no sympathy for those who do not have mercy on cows”.
“This session (of the Gujarat Assembly), we have passed a Bill and Gujarat has become the first state in India to have a law which provides for life imprisonment sentence for those who slaughter cows. Cow is our mother. It is an article of faith for us. This state government is not prepared to have any sympathy for those who have no mercy on cows,” Rupani said. The CM was addressing a public gathering at Aji Dam Police Station after dedicating to public a sewage treatment plant near Kothariya village. His remarks came days after a dairy farmer was allegedly lynched by cow vigilantes in neighbouring Rajasthan.
“ This state government has made strict laws to prevent slaughter of cow and its progeny. Cow is not merely an article of faith for us, it is also a mode of earning in villages through cattle-breeding. Let there be rivers of ghee and milk in Gujarat. We have decided to have pools of selected bulls to promote breeds of cow like Gir and Kankreji and wean away people from breeding Jersey,” Rupani said, adding cow slaughter had been prohibited with a view to help farmers and cattle-breeders enhance their income by dairy farming.
In the recently concluded Budget session of the Assembly, the government had amended the Cattle Preservation Act and enhanced the penal provision for cow slaughter from seven years’ imprisonment to life imprisonment. The same law prohibits storage and transportation of beef.
The CM also laid the foundation stone of redeveloping the existing central bus station of the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) into a modern bus port with facilities like hotels, gaming zones eateries, waiting rooms and 30 bus platforms. The GSRTC has taken up the project on public-private partnership basis. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 168 crore.
The CM also dedicated to public an office building of registrar in the city. He also launched six new Volvo bus routes, originating from Rajkot and terminating at destinations like Mumbai and Nasik.
Transport Minister Vallabh Kakadia said the Volvo bus service between major cities of the state had become quite popular. “Presently, there are 50 Volvo busses in the fleet of GSRTC. The CM had suggested to increase this number, given their popularity. So we have decided to increase this number to 500 in coming days,” said Kakadia.