The Assam government plans to bring in a law to protect cows by banning transport of cattle outside the state, among other measures. Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi at the first session of the assembly of the new government led by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the bill to protect cows in the state will be introduced in the next session of the assembly.
“We all revere and worship cows. It is considered a sacred animal as it nurtures us through life-sustaining milk. In fact, it is a symbol of the divine bounty of earth. 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. We will adopt a zero tolerance policy and enforce stringent punishment for offenders. Once passed, Assam will join other states of the country that have passed similar bills,” the governor said.
He said the state government will remain committed to strengthening Namghars and protecting the rights of the Sattras or Vaishnavite monasteries. A task force will be formed to recover the lands of the Sattras and places of worship from illegal encroachments, the governor said.
Ahead of the election in Assam this year, the main opposition parties had criticised the previous government of allegedly having links with illegal cattle trade.
“Since the BJP came to power in Assam in 2016, cow trade and exports of meat to Bangladesh went up by 211 per cent in just two years. Even BJP MP Maneka Gandhi has written to the Assam government on treatment given to cows. The syndicate is not limited to cattle trade. The (Sarbananda) Sonowal government has broken all records in illegal coal trading and there are syndicates in bamboo, betel leaf, fish…” Chhattisgarh Chief Minister and observer for Congress for Assam Bhupesh Baghel had said during the campaign.