Make cow national animal, says Rajasthan HC

While Rajasthan High Court also wants increased punishment for cow slaughter, Kerala High Court observes that the Centre’s new regulation “does not” ban cattle slaughter

PTI Photo
PTI Photo

NH Web Desk

The issue of cow slaughter was the major focus of two high courts on Wednesday after the Madras High Court on Tuesday had stayed the Centre’s notification banning sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter at animal markets.

While the Kerala High Court on Wednesday observed that the new regulation by the Centre does not ban cattle slaughter completely, the Rajasthan High Court wanted the cow to be declared the national animal of India.

In fact, the Rajasthan High Court suggested a life-time imprisonment sentence to those guilty of cow slaughtering, from the current three-years imprisonment.

The division bench of the Kerala High Court, hearing a PIL filed by the Youth Congress secretary, said there was no breach of citizen’s rights in the recent bans imposed by the government on cattle-slaughter.

According to the reports, the bench of the Kerala High Court remarked,“The PIL does not stand, since the Centre’s regulation only bans sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets. It has not banned cattle slaughter at all. Can’t the sale and slaughtering be done at home or other places? There is no breach of citizens’ rights here. Seems like people are raising objections without even reading the regulation.”

Hearing the Hingonia Gaushala, a government-run cowshed in Jaipur, matter where over 100 cows had perished within a few weeks last year, the Rajasthan High Court made the bizarre recommendations.

These developments came in the wake of the Ministry of Environment and Forests’ notification of new rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act which prohibits the sale of cattle for the purpose of slaughter. The new rules prohibit the sale of cattle for the purpose of slaughter and to sell or buy cattle, both the parties, the buyer and the seller, have to furnish a written declaration that the animal will not be slaughtered.

The decision led to a lot of hullaballoo as people started opining on the issue. While some hailed the government for protecting the holy-cow, others were quick to bash it for allegedly trying to control people’s choice of food. The political section also stood divided on the issue. Kerala, through a Facebook post, requested the PMO to “intervene in this matter and repeal the newly imposed restrictions” to protect the lives and livelihoods of millions of Indians, “while safeguarding the fundamental principles of our constitution.”

Students at loggerheads

There have protests by students in Kerala and Tamil Nadu against the Centre’s regulation banning sale of cattle for slaughter at animal markets. A beef festival was organised on Sunday by a few students on the IIT Madras campus and it saw more than 70 students in attendance.

A group of students at IIT Madras allegedly thrashed a PhD scholar on Tuesday, who had participated in a campus beef festival.

On Tuesday afternoon, several students owing allegiance to right-wing groups, surrounded R Sooraj, an Aerospace engineering PhD student, in the hostel canteen and attacked him. “He has been severely injured and he is still unable to open his eyes. He has been admitted in that Intensive Care Unit. He can’t open his eyes still,” said K Swaminathan, a core member of the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle. Sooraj was also a part of the study circle.

“On Sunday evening, Manish Kumar Singh, an ocean engineering research scholar, had threatened two other students—Arjunand Nishant. Manish is known to have RSS-leaning views. He had come on Tuesday with around six or seven others to the canteen. They questioned Sooraj in the canteen and before anyone could react, they started attacking him. As of now, Manish hasn’t been arrested,” says Swaminathan.

“This was a fight between students on campus which has been hijacked by political parties and media houses for their political gains. The students should be tolerant of those with opposing political views. A disciplinary committeehas been constituted to look into the matter,” says GL Sai Kiran, the current student general secretary.

According to sources on the campus, there are two versions to the story. “The first is the much publicised attack on Sooraj and the second is that even Manish, who was said to have allegedly spearheaded the attack, has been injured and has been hospitalised,” says the source, who didn’t want to be identified.

“Both Manish and Sooraj had gone to the Jain mess for lunch on the day of the attack. Manish had allegedly asked Sooraj that he was a part of the beef fest on campus on Sunday and on Tuesday he was in the Jain mess. This question led to an altercation between the two. Sooraj’s face and body has been injured and Manish has allegedly broken his arm,” says the source.

A call to the Dean of Students, MS Sivakumar, went unanswered.

On Tuesday evening, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condemned the violence against a Malayali student and asked his Tamil Nadu counterpart EK Palaniswami to take necessary action.

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Published: 31 May 2017, 10:17 PM