06/11/2020, 12.35
INDIA
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Uttar Pradesh introduces harsher penalties for those who slaughter or transport a cow

by Nirmala Carvalho

For the first offense, a person can receive a severe punishment of one to seven years and a fine of up to Rs 3 lakh (around 4,800 euros). Vineet Vincent Pereira: "This bill targets Muslims". “They will persecute minorities and Dalits in the name of slaughtering cows. It will be used as an intimidation and harassment tool to arrest and incarcerate people.”

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - In Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath cabinet has approved an ordinance on the prevention of slaughter of cows (Amendment), 2020. The amendments aim to protect the cow and prevent crimes related to their slaughter.

Bishop Gerald Mathias of Lucknow commented to AsiaNews: "while the nation is fighting Coronavirus, this is the government's priority." The bishop was responding to the ordinance approved by Uttar Pradesh to tighten cow slaughtering laws.

For the first offense, a person can receive a severe punishment from one to seven years with a fine ranging from Rs 1 lakh (around 1,600 euros) to Rs 3 lakh (around 4,800 euros). For the second offense, a 10-year strict prison sentence can be imposed on the person with a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh (about € 8,000), a statement said.

The central government, according to a statement, approved the draft decree of the Uttar Pradesh government for the prevention of the slaughter of cows at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Yogi Aditynath, calling for more rigorous and effective punishments to completely stop accidents related to slaughtering cows.

In the event of illegal transport of cows and other cattle, the driver, operator and owner of the vehicle are subject to the sanction provided for by the new law, unless they demonstrate that the transport has been carried out without the knowledge of the owner by someone else to commit the crime.

The expenses incurred for the maintenance of the seized cows will be recovered from the owner of the vehicle for a period of one year or until the cow or the bovine is released, depending on which of the two previous conditions.

The provisions also provide for punishment in case of danger to their life through physical damage or mutilation. Also, if someone endangers a cow's life by not providing food and water with the intention of endangering its life, he can be punished with a one-year strict prison sentence, which can extend to seven years for the first offense.

Previously, the Utar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955 had been enacted on January 6, 1956. The law was changed in 1958, 1961, 1979 and 2002. The rules were changed in 1964 and 1979. "However - according to the statement – some gaps remained due to which the law could not be applied effectively according to public sentiment and complaints of illegal slaughter and transport of cattle were received. "

"In the 1955 Act, a maximum of seven years in prison for slaughtering cows was introduced. People released on bail in such incidents were also on the rise, and incidents of people who re-offended after being released from the court increased. With these reasons in mind and with respect for public sentiment, it became necessary to strengthen the law and make it more vigorous and effective. "

The government noted that since the state's economy depends on agriculture, the cow and other cattle play a very important role in its economic and social structure. Preventing the illegal transport of cows and other cattle will help fulfill the dream of the white revolution and promote agriculture in cities and rural areas.

Vineet Vincent Pereira, arrested by Uttar Pradesh police on false charges of conversion, told AsiaNews: "what is there to comment on the ordinance and this government? It is a government of blind people who do not know the value and people's values. They know the value of animals, like cows. "

“Even before this ordinance, Muslims avoided slaughtering cows here in Uttar Pradesh. This bill targets Muslims. We must respect the feelings of the Hindus when they adore cows and respect their belief in the goddess Cow. But they will persecute minorities and Dalits in the name of slaughtering cows. It will be used as an intimidation and harassment tool to arrest and incarcerate people.”

“If they had intended to save the cows, they would have done more for their protection. Now they have many stables, where cows die without food. Cows roam the streets, cattle are left to roam the fields and are destroying the cultivation. The intention is wrong, it is directed against Muslims and Dalits".

Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Chrsitians (GCIC), a group that protects Christians persecuted for religious reasons, told AsiaNews: "In Yogi's Uttar Pradesh, this cow protection act will see vigilant groups increasing for the protection of cows, which will continue to terrorize the state's minority population."

The GCIC accepts the fact that the "cow is a sacred animal for most of the Hindu community, and is worshiped by them, but for extremists the life of a cow is more precious than human life. In two weeks there have been two atrocities against Dalit revealing the caste mentality of the upper caste: a 17-year-old Dalit boy murdered by upper caste youth in Yogi's Uttar Pradesh. The police are denying it, suggesting rather that it seems like a "fight" between boys. This is how historically the caste division operates in India and continues to do today. ...  cows most are more precious than Dalits". "Previously, on June 4, in Uttar Pradesh, Dalit men were tied, beaten, shaved by force and paraded with shoes hanging around their necks in the village of Lucknow in Khalilabad, presumably for" stealing a fan "from a Brahmins' house ".

“Unfortunately in Uttar Pradesh, which has over 200 million inhabitants, the commitment to protect cows seems to be a more pressing issue than saving lives that have become destitute, homeless and jobless due to the lockdown. The Yogi government is using the sacred cow to radicalize and divide the population for political gains."

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