The cow has never had it so good , and the BJP-ruled states are falling over one another to ‘wow the cow’, says an article in an Indian newspaper.
Now the police at Haridwar will form a “cow family protection squad”. Haryana will launch “PGs for cattle” so that the people high-rise buildings will experience the ‘joy’ of rearing and milking cows.
And let’s not forget that the BJP has a beef with slaughterhouses. Uttarakhand’s BJP government now has a police squad to crack down on not only on illegal cow killing, but also to shut down buffalo slaughterhouses and stop ‘cattle smuggling’, seven months after a similar drive in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh was accused of targeting legal abattoirs too.
Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has constituted two units of the Govansh Sanrakshan Squad (cow family protection squad), with the northern Garhwal division headquartered in Haridwar and the southern Kumaon division in Udham Singh Nagar.
Each division will include a police inspector, two sub-inspectors, a head constable each from the civil police and the local intelligence unit, and six constables, state police chief Anil Raturi said. Each will have an SUV and wireless sets and will be supervised by a deputy inspector-general.
Haryana, another BJP-ruled state, will have “PGs for cattle” in dairy parks similar to industrial clusters being planned near cities. Other than the regular dairy, the parks will have “PGs for cattle”, said O.P. Dhankar, dairy minister.
“If a man who stays in a flat in a big city wants to consume milk of his own cow or buffalo, we will keep plots for ‘PGs for cattle’ in these dairy areas where they can rear their own cattle and get quality milk,” the minister explained.
In Uttarakhand, Ashok Kumar, additional director-general of police (law and order), told reporters on Sunday that the police were “preparing a list of all slaughterhouses” so that the squad could inspect them and check their papers and their functioning.
He said the squad would send monthly reports to police headquarters by the fifth of every month.
With the slaughter of cows, bulls, oxen and calves banned in Uttarakhand under a 2007 law passed by then BJP chief minister B.C. Khanduri, any abattoir where cattle are slaughtered would be illegal. Officials said the squad would also shut down illegal buffalo slaughterhouses.
In Uttar Pradesh, the CM Yogi Adityanath, had launched a drive against illegal slaughterhouses in March but his police were accused of forcing shut many legal slaughterhouses, even those for goats, as well.
Slaughterhouse owners and goat meat sellers had alleged that the Adityanath government had deliberately stopped renewing their licences after March 31, turning legal abattoirs illegal.
Allahabad High Court, hearing a writ petition seeking “security of livelihood as well as supply of food”, intervened in May and ordered the state government to renew abattoirs’ licences.
Ahead of the February-March Assembly elections, the BJP had promised in both states that it would close illegal slaughterhouses if it came to power.
Uttarakhand’s 2007 law punishes cattle slaughter with 3 to 10 years’ jail and a fine of Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. It also bans cattle owners from letting their cows wander after milking.
Beef can, however, be brought from outside and eaten in the state, and canned beef can be sold too.
In Uttar Pradesh, from where Uttarakhand was carved out in November 2000, the slaughter of cows (and bulls and oxen below the age of 15 years) is banned under a 1955 law.