Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh could soon make it a criminal offence for cow owners to abandon their cows. The government is considering an overhaul of its cow protection law to ensure that people continue to take care of cows well beyond their productive years, a move that opposition parties allege was linked to assembly elections scheduled for later this year.
Under the proposal by the animal husbandry department, amendments will be made in the state’s 2004 law against cow slaughter to empower the district administration to register a complaint with the police against the cow owner for abandoning livestock.
A draft of the recommendations has been sent to law department.
“This is being taken seriously. The government has enacted law to serve Gaumata, but the owners should also think. We are discussing the provisions of the law,” the state’s Law Minister Rampal Singh said.
The opposition Congress alleged that the move was taken to push saffron agenda. “Mr Shivraj Singh Chouhan has a knack of diffusing things in perspective. He is trying to push this agenda before the assembly elections as if this is the last word in protection of cows. Unfortunately this will be counterproductive as the government is harming interest of farmers,” Ajay Singh, the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly said.
It is an accusation that the law minister rubbished. “The agenda of the whole country is the service of Gaumata,” he said.
In December, the state was in the news for the death of over 50 cows in Agar-Malwa district, often described as the country’s first cow sanctuary.
The Congress leader had then sought to embarrass the ruling party and written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to seek a probe into the deaths and punishment for the guilty.
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