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Will cattle-preservation bill dim Bakri Eid celebrations in Assam?

GUWAHATI: Assam’s Cattle Preservation Bill has been grabbing the headlines since quite some time in Assam. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tabled the bill on the inaugural day of the budget session on Monday.

The bill brewed controversy garnering mixed reactions as one section of the society is welcoming the bill while some others are opposing it.

The controversy of the bill ahead of Bakri eid, one of the most important festivals of the Muslim community, is likely to prove as a spoilsport for the celebrations as cow or cattle sacrifice is a crucial part of this festival.

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Speaking on the matter, Former Professor of Gauhati University Abdul Mannan said, ” I don’t think it will impact the celebrations to a great extent. However, If this bill gets passed in a time like this, it will create chaos among people . Also, we are aware of the tortures being inflicted  upon the cows in the name of protection in other states where the bill has been enacted.”

“The people who are dependent on agriculture for livelihood will be impacted. I don’t think that the bill have been prepared for the welfare of the people or cows. It’s just a strategy to garner votes. I am saying all these based on the results of the implementation of the bill in the others states”, he added.

Mannan reiterated that the bill was never meant for welfare and that “there is no good intention behind this bill.”

Talking to InsideNE, Congress leader Debabrat Saikia said that the bill needs to be examined minutely as There might be some provisions in the bill that will be difficult to implement.

“We will try to make the amendment pertaining to Eid in case it is not included as religious. There are things that need to be taken delved deeply as sometimes temples can evolve anywhere which eventually leads to disputes”, said Saikia.

Maulana Jamat Junab speaking to InsideNE clarified that according to Islam, other animals including goat, buffalo or sheep can also be sacrificed instead of cows.

Debates on cow slaughter and Bakri eid has been going on even before the issue of the protection bill. Sacrifice of the cows, which is revered by the Hindu community often leads to conflict between the two groups. With the introduction of the Cow protection bill, the conflict has been fueled even more.

Slamming the bill, MLA Akhil Gogoi stated that the bill is ‘utterly communal’.

Speaking about the bill, the Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “Cattle are revered in our society from time immemorial.”

“Respecting our deep-rooted belief system & agricultural necessity, we’ve tabled Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021 in Assembly to regulate slaughter, consumption & transportation of cattle”. he added.

As per the bill, transportation of cattle from one district and outside the state will be considered illegal without proper documentation.

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