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Karnataka anti-Cow slaughter Bill slated to be law

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Karnataka Chief minister Yediyurappa feeding a cow. Photo credit: Deccan Herala

Bengaluru: The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation and Protection of Cattle Bill 2020, or the anti-slaughter bill, is slated to be law as the upper house of the state passed it despite huge protests by the Congress and JD(S) legislators.

Karnataka Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu Chauhan tabled the Bill for consideration of the Upper House on Monday. During the discussion, several Congress and JD(S) MLCs termed it as anti-farmer, and some of them even tore the Bill besides claiming that it is aimed at targeting certain sections of people. They also demanded that the Bill should be withdrawn or be referred to the joint select committee for vetting.

The passage of the Bill will help the ruling party replace the ordinance that was passed on January 8.

The Bill, already passed by the Assembly during the winter session in December last year, was put to vote by Deputy Chairman of the council, M.K. Pranesh.

With this, slaughtering of nearly all cattle - bull, ox, bullock, buffalo and cow - is now illegal in Karnataka.

For the Bill to become a law, its passage in both Houses followed by assent of the Governor is necessary. As the same Bill was approved in the form of ordinance by the Governor last month, it is likely to get the Governor's nod shortly.

"With the Act coming into effect, the efforts for conservation would gain strength," Chauhan said.

After the members of the Congress and the JD(S) trooped into the well opposing the Bill, it was passed through voice vote. The BJP has only 32 members whereas Congress and JD(S) combinedly has 42 members.

Opposing the Bill, veteran Congress leader B.K. Hariprasad said that this law will not help anyone, neither the farmers nor the common people. "You (BJP) seem to be giving jobs to unemployed VHP and Bajrang Dal workers," he said.

Hariprasad said that he too loved cows as several communities in the state, including his own, start their married life by pouring cow milk to solemnise marriages. "Do not teach us what it takes to love an animal. You should accept that this Bill is aimed at creating communal disturbances," he said.

He also dared the BJP to come out with a law to ban fishing or eating pork. "Both fish and boar are directly associated with Lord Vishnu. Why have you not thought of banning the consumption of these meats," he asked.

Congress MLC C.M. Ibrahim said that Karnataka is not like Maharashtra or Uttar Pradesh. "Do not add communal colour to this Bill. Give us time, I will invite all mosque heads. Let's discuss the issue. Refer this Bill to the joint select committee," he suggested.

Ibrahim added that the government should consider discussing the matter with the farmers too.

The Karnataka anti-slaughter Bill is termed as harsh compared to similar acts passed by other BJP states. The Bill which bans the slaughter of all cows, bulls, bullocks and calves, also outlaws the slaughter of buffaloes below the age of 13. Smuggling and transporting animals for slaughter is also an offence.

The bill stipulates punishments of between three to seven years -which is more than the punishment prescribed in Indian law for causing the death of a human being by negligence. It also gives the police powers to conduct search based on suspicion.

The legislation disapproved by majority of the people in the state for whom the beef is a cheap source of protein. The bill may adversely affect the people working in the meat and leather industries that depend on cattle slaughter, many of whom are Muslim.

The bill will also badly affect the dairy industry's economic functioning where slaughter is integral. The upkeep of unproductive animals would throw unnecessary burden over the farmers who usually want to get rid of a milch animals once it stops giving milk.

(Based on IANS feed)

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TAGS:Cow cow slaughter act Karnataka BJP 
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