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Cow Protection Bill in Assam, Boon or Bane?

Assam government announced that it is going to introduce a cow protection bill in the next Assembly session. The announcement of the decision was made by Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi during the inaugural session of the 15th Assam Assembly on Saturday.

The Governor said that the government would adopt a zero-tolerance policy for the protection for the protection of the cows which is considered as a sacred animal.

“I am happy to inform you that my government plans to introduce the cow protection bill in the next Assembly session. The proposed bill envisages imposition of complete ban on transport of cattle outside the State,” said the governor.

The Governor further said that once the bill is passed, Assam will join other states which have passed similar bills.

During his address Mukhi also highlighted Himanta Biswa Sarma government’s assurance of recovering the land of satras from encroachments for which a task force will be constituted.

He further added that the government will be committed to build up ‘naam ghars’ and protect the rights of the satras. The satras will also be provided grant-in-aids, said the Governor.

Commenting on the issue Senior Advocate of Gauhati High Court Hafiz Rashid Choudhury  said, “These things are just to divert our attention from the main issues that are currently going on. There are many developmental bills that should have been prioritized. Hence I feel in a time like this, it is not feasible to bring up a controversial bill like this. The covid chaos is already there. In such a situation, such decisions are going to create more chaos and difference in the society.”

Talking to InsideNE, MP and Veteran Journalist Ajit Bhuyan said, “First of all it is difficult to comment on a bill that has not been introduced yet as we don’t know the details. Yet based on what the Governor said, I would like to say that different states have introduced different protection bills. And it is often seen that certain communities are harassing other communities by taking advantage of those bills. So, all we want is that if the bill is introduced in the state, it should not violate the rights of any community. The government has to make sure that no community would use the bill against any other community.”

For Hindus, cows are considered to be sacred animals and several states have adopted laws However, beef is consumed by several communities, including Muslims. Hence such policies not only hinder the country’s cattle trade and those whose livelihoods are dependent on livestock, but also impact the communities which consume beef.

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