Minister Priyank Kharge urges strict crackdown on cow vigilantism in K'taka ahead of Bakridtext_fields
Kalaburagi: Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister and Kalaburagi district in-charge Priyank Kharge has called for a strong enforcement of laws against cow vigilantism and livestock transportation in Kalaburagi district ahead of Bakrid.
Addressing the police officials of the district ahead of the festival on June 22, the minister emphasized the need to apprehend and prosecute individuals who take the law into their own hands under the pretext of cow protection.
"All PSIs and DSPs, please listen. People who engage in cow vigilantism, claiming association with various groups, are often unaware of the challenges faced by farmers. If anyone takes the law into their own hands, claiming allegiance to a particular group, they should be apprehended and prosecuted. The law is clear”, the Minister said.
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) selectively shared a portion of his speech, accusing him of endorsing illegal cow slaughter and pressuring the police to target those opposing it.
In his address to the police officials ahead of the Bakrid festival, Priyank Kharge highlighted the challenges faced by farmers and urged strict action against individuals associated with various groups who engage in cow vigilantism.
He emphasized that those who violate the law should be apprehended and face legal consequences. Additionally, the minister called for an end to unwarranted harassment during livestock transportation, emphasizing that individuals with the necessary permissions and documents should not face unnecessary obstacles.
“All transportation of livestock, whether within city limits or in rural areas, should not face harassment if they possess the required permissions and documents. There have been instances where individuals falsely claim authority and unlawfully confiscate animals from farmers. I urge you to act in accordance with the law", Kharge said.
The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Act, 2020, enacted in 2021, has empowered Hindutva activists to target cattle transporters, posing risk to even the legitimate transportation of cattle.
He attributed the recent rise in harassment to the previous BJP government and expressed his commitment to promptly address the issue through strict enforcement of the law.
Priyank's statements come at a time when concerns are being raised about the activities of cow vigilante groups and their impact on farmers and livestock transporters.
While acknowledging the need to combat illegal cattle smuggling, the minister stressed the importance of differentiating between genuine offenders and those who are in compliance with the law.
“Last time in Gulbarga, these cow vigilantes visited homes, they picked up animals. If anybody takes the law into their own hands, there should be strict action taken against them. If anybody is illegally smuggling the animals, be it livestock or any other animals, put them behind bars. There is no denying it. But even after having all permissions if someone else is harassing, You ask them- who are they to ask?” Kharge said.
“People who do cow vigilantism, saying we are from this dala (organisation), that dala. They don't know how much the farmers are struggling. If anybody wearing a shawl representing certain groups take law into their own hands, kick them, and put them behind bars”, he added.
The BJP responded by sharing a selective clip of Priyank's speech, accusing him of promoting illegal cow slaughter and pressuring the police. They cited Article 48 of the Indian Constitution, which prohibits the slaughter of animals, particularly in public spaces.
BJP said, “Article 48 of the Indian Constitution clearly prohibits the slaughter of animals, particularly in public spaces. However, @PriyankKharge is abusing his power by not only promoting illegal cow slaughter but also pressuring police officials to arrest anyone who opposes it. The self-proclaimed Constitution expert @siddaramaiah should explain whether this violates Baba Saheb’s Indian Constitution or not. If not, both needs to be educated on the Indian Constitution.”