Describing the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill introduced by the Bharatiya Janata Party government as an attack on the food habits of the people, general secretary of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha Veera Sangaiah said on Saturday that the implementation of this law would destroy agriculture in the State.

He was speaking at a protest meeting organised by various organisation under the banner of Januvaru Hatya Nishedha Masude Virodhi Okkoota in front of the Deputy Commissioner's office here.

Earlier, members of the okkoota took out a rally.

Mr. Sangaiah said that as per the Bill, farmers would have to leave their old or injured cattle at ‘goshalas' and pay for their upkeep every month.

Farmers in the State were committing suicide because they were unable to repay loans.

It would be difficult for them to pay for the upkeep of these cattle. Under the Bill, it was a crime to kill the cattle. The Government had forgotten that a large number of people consumed beef, Mr. Sangaiah said. State convener of the Karnataka Rajya Dalit Sangharsh Samiti N. Venkatesh said that the Government could not dictate terms on the food habits of the people. By banning the consumption of beef, the Government was depriving the rural people of nutritious food, he said.

The former MLC, L. Hanumanthaiah, said, farmers who work in the fields with cattle had not demanded any law to ban cow slaughter. But people who neither lived with cattle nor had anything to do with agriculture or dairy farming were in the forefront of demanding the anti-cow slaughter law, Mr. Hanumanthaiah said.

President of District Mahila Congress Veronica Carnelio, leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Admar Sripati Acharya and leaders of the Karnataka Muslim Muttahida Mahaz and Janata Dal (Secular)were among those present.

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