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Maharashtra beef ban law: First case registered in Malegaon

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In the first case reported after the amended law banning beef slaughter in Maharashtra came into force, police on Thursday booked three persons for allegedly slaughtering two calves in Malegaon town of Nashik district.

Working on a tip-off, police seized two heads of slaughtered calves and around 150 kg of beef after raiding an abandoned shack in the Bajrangwadi area under Azad Nagar police station. The accused, Hamid alias Lendi, Rashid alias Pandya and Asif Talathi, are absconding. A search operation has been launched to nab them, a police officer said.

The three have been booked under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, which came into place on March 4, 2015. Under the amended law, even the slaughter of bulls, calves and bullocks is a criminal offense liable with punishment up to five years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000. Cow slaughter is banned in the State since 1976.

Though police expects to get more details about the origins of the meat after it arrests the accused, samples of the seized beef were sent to Mumbai for laboratory tests.

The case has shed focus on the new law banning beef in the State which came into force after President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, which had been pending since 1995 during the previous Sena-BJP rule. The current BJP-Sena government has cracked down on the slaughter of bulls and bullocks.

Social media burst into criticism and taunted the new law in the aftermath of this case. “Is this democratic? It’s just like making every religion follow them. Just b'cz Hindus dont eat beef does'nt mean others wont!!” tweeted one user.

Some beef traders fear that the new law would lead to an influx in smuggling of beef while also putting undue pressure on those who legally sell buffalo, which is out of the new law’s purview. Abdul Qureshi, of the Beef Traders Association, said while the State was aggressive in implementing the new law, it cared little for the interest of those involved in the trade legally.

After the slaughter of bulls and bullocks was banned, traders in the State boycotted sale of buffalo meat as a mark of protest and solidarity. “The intention of the State is not clear. Though it is okay to nab illegal meat supply, given the atmosphere created by the State around beef, we fear that even the legal meat (buffalo) risks being told illegal,” said Mr. Qureshi.

“We have boycotted the slaughter of buffalo but nobody has come to us asking us to continue the trade, since it is legal. It shows the State does not care,” he said.

Absconding

The accused, Hamid, alias Lendi, Rashid, alias Pandya, and Asif Talathi, are absconding. A search has been launched, a police officer said.

They have been booked under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act. Under the amended law, even the slaughter of bulls, calves and bullocks is a criminal offence attracting up to five years’ imprisonment and a Rs. 10,000 fine. Cow slaughter has been banned in the State since 1976.

“Is it democratic?”

The arrests and the new law came under criticism in social media. “Is this democratic? It’s just like making every religion follow them. Just because Hindus don’t eat beef, doesn’t mean others wont,” one user tweeted.

Some beef traders fear that the new law would lead to smuggling of beef, putting pressure on those who legally sell buffalo, which is out of the new law’s purview.

Abdul Qureshi of the Beef Traders’ Association said that while the State was aggressive in implementing the new law, it cared little for those legally involved in the trade.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 9:50:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/maharashtra-beef-ban-law-first-case-registered-in-malegaon/article7036260.ece

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