RAIPUR: The Congress on Sunday hit out at the BJP over Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh’s remark to “hang cow killers”, saying the party is raking up the issue to divert the attention from the agitation for liquor ban.
The main opposition party in the state also demanded stern action in connection with the alleged deaths of cows in government-aided bovine shelter homes. The CM had on Saturday said that those who kill cows would be “hanged” in his state.
“There is no opposition to ban on cow slaughter. But the chief minister should first tell what action was taken into the deaths of cows reported in government-aided ‘gaushala’ (cow shelter home),”said state chief of the Congress Bhupesh Baghel. “Nothing happened in those incidents, which reveals how serious the state government is about the issue,” he said. “No stern action was taken against the guilty into the deaths of cows in such a shelter home in Bhanupratappur (Kanker district) last year,” he added.
“Why action was not taken? Do they belong to BJP (those running gaushala)? You (CM) are making such a tall statement just to divert attention of people from the protest going all over the state demanding liquor ban,” Baghel said.
He also said that before making such statements, the government should arrange for rehabilitation of cows straying on the streets, provide proper fodder to them and other facilities. Notably, agriculture minister Brijmohan Agrawal had last year said that the state was the first in the country to enforce a law in letter and spirit to ban the slaughter of cows, buffaloes and their progeny. Slaughter of cow, buffalo, bull, bullock, calf, and possession of their meat is banned in the state. There is also a ban on transporting and exporting the animals to other states for being slaughtered. These offences attract punishment of 7 years’ jail and fine up to Rs 50,000.
The Chhattisgarh government had informed in the Assembly last year that as many as 1,373 cases of cattle smuggling had been registered (till February 2016) under the Chhattisgarh Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act, which was enacted in 2004. In those cases, around 30,922 bovines were rescued from smugglers.
The BJP-ruled Gujarat recently passed a more stringent law making cow slaughter punishable with life-term.