July 25, 2019 2:15:39 am
A BILL that the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh sought to bring against cow vigilantism was referred to the select committee of the Assembly in the face of stiff opposition from the opposition BJP, which alleged that the proposed legislation will encourage slaughter of cows and vitiate social fabric of the state.
Called Madhya Pradesh Gauvansh Vadh Pratishedh (Sanshodhan) Vidheyak, 2019, the amendment sought to curb cow vigilantism by proposing a jail term from six months to five years against those who attack, or damage properties of, people booked for violating the principal act of 2004. It also proposed a fine of up to Rs 50,000.
Even before the Bill was introduced few days ago, the BJP had opposed its provisions, accusing the Congress of appeasement. The opposition party said even those accused of theft or child lifting are lynched or attacked but the Congress government did not want to bring any legislation against that.
When the Bill introduced by Animal Husbandry Minister Lakhan Singh Yadav came up for discussion on Wednesday, the BJP scaled up its arguments with former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan alleging that on one hand the government was talking about building cow sheds but on the other hand is bringing an amendment that will allow cow smugglers a free run in transporting cows and to take them to mechanised slaughterhouses.
“It will encourage cow slaughter and no gau shalas will be required because there will be no cows to protect,” he alleged. He said there are enough IPC provisions to deal with cases of lynching and requested that the Bill be sent to the select committee and introduced again after studying pros and cons.
Former home minister Bhupendra Singh alleged that the proposed amendment amounts to encouraging illegal transportation of cows and penalising those who try to stop transport without valid permit. The BJP will never support such a Bill because it seeks to patronise those engaged in cow slaughter, he said.
After the BJP legislators’ opposition, Chief Minister Kamal Nath said the Bill should be referred to the select committee to address concerns raised by some members. “Our policy for gau shala has been framed not by political considerations but emotions. We have not engaged in cow politics. It was not our intention.”
Speaker N P Prajapati said the Bill would be referred to select committee and its constitution will soon be announced.
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