IN A bid to crack down on cow vigilantism, the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday proposed a jail term of six months to three years and a fine of Rs 25,000-50,000 for those who engage in violence against anyone booked under the anti-cow slaughter Act.
The Kamal Nath government cleared an amendment to the Madhya Pradesh Gauvansh Vadh Pratishedh Adhiniyam, 2004 — the anti-cow slaughter law passed by the previous BJP government — to include this provision.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Additional Chief Secretary (Animal Husbandry) Manoj Shrivastava said the punishment will increase to minimum one year and maximum five years if a mob is involved in cow vigilantism. In case of repeat offenders, the jail term will be doubled.
The amendment also seeks to punish those who abet cow vigilantism by providing a jail term of one to three years. People who damage property of those charged under the anti-cow slaughter law will also be punished.
The move comes in the wake of an incident near Kachhiwara, under Dundaseoni police station in Seoni district, on May 22, when five people thrashed three persons, including a Muslim man and woman, on suspicion of carrying beef.
Earlier, the state government decided to ease rules governing the transportation of cows to ensure that farmers and traders are not harassed by cow vigilantes and stopped by police. The government also decided to allow trade of cows between farmers by removing a condition that they could buy bovines only from bazaars or haats.