BS Yediyurappa, the Chief Minister of Karnataka has taken the bold decision of bringing in anti-cow slaughter legislation in the state, mandating up to seven years of imprisonment and a fine of up to 10 lakh rupees for those found guilty of slaughtering cows. The ‘Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill’ was passed by the state’s legislative assembly on Wednesday, even as it now awaits being voted upon in the legislative council, where the JD(S) and Congress have an upper hand. In light of the same, the Karnataka government led by Yediyurappa has now decided to pass the law as an ordinance first, making it effective across Karnataka immediately.
“We will promulgate an ordinance (on anti-cow slaughter), you know that in the council the Chairman was not cooperating, so we will be promulgating an ordinance,” Yediyurappa said. The legislative council’s Chairman K Pratapachandra Shetty had abruptly adjourned the legislative council sine die on Thursday, a day after the anti-cow slaughter bill was passed by the State Assembly. The BJP has also moved a motion of no-confidence against him, which would have added to the decision of adjourning the council sine die. The motion of no-confidence is likely to be taken up on Tuesday, as the government seeks to reconvene the council.
Meanwhile, knowing that the bill might face blockade in the legislative council, the BJP government has chosen to go ahead with the ordinance route to make the law immediately applicable in the state. The Chief Minister also performed the traditional ‘Gau Pooja’ (cow worship) at his official residence Cauvery on Friday morning in the backdrop of the passage of the bill in the assembly.
Yediyurappa was quoted as saying that it is common knowledge worldwide that in Hindu Dharma, cows are revered and in India, which is an agrarian country, animal husbandry is a source of income for agriculturists, and cattle are used in farming activities, he said. “As cows are considered an asset in the Indian culture, the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill has been passed by the state’s legislative assembly, which further strengthens the existing law,” he added.
Saying that his government was committed to strengthening laws aimed at the protection of cows, Yediyurappa added that necessary arrangements will be made by setting up an infrastructure where cows can be taken care of. Apart from a strict jail time and fine, the law will also pave the way for setting up special courts for dealing with related cases, along with protection for those who protect cows. A ban on interstate transportation of cows for slaughtering will also be implemented. In fact, Karnataka’s Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu Chavan along with officials had travelled to Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat to study and gather information regarding the implementation of similar anti-cow slaughter laws there.
Of course, the opposition is calling the new laws a gross violation of the democratic rights of citizens, but the BJP government remains unmoved and is standing firm on the noble decision to ban cow slaughter.