New Delhi: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Friday asked the central government to enact a law banning cow slaughter.
“To honour its commitment, public sentiments… the union government should not delay it (law banning cow slaughter) any more,” Surendra Jain, the VHP’s international joint secretary general, said in a statement.
He also urged the Congress and other other political parties to help ensure a complete ban.
“Leaving behind narrow political motives, the Congress and other parties should come forward for a total ban. It should be remembered that the Congress had banned cow slaughter in many states during its tenure,” Jain said.
The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Wednesday asked the central government to consider enacting a law prohibiting slaughter of cows within three months.
The court also directed the central government to allocate funds to the Himachal government for providing shelter and fodder to cows and formulate special schemes for their protection.
The Hindu refugees, who fled to Bangladesh, have placed their hopes on the Modi government
The Hindu refugees are scared of moving back to the Buddhist majority Myanmar’s Rakhine state
The Indian government was waiting for the Supreme Court to hear an appeal against the home ministry’s plans of deporting Rohingya Muslims from the country
New Delhi, September 21, 2017: The crossfire between Rohingya insurgents and Myanmar’s military has left hundreds of Hindus, who fled to Bangladesh, placing their hopes on the Indian government.
Around 500 Hindus have taken shelter in a cleared-out chicken farm, in a Hindu hamlet in the southeast of Bangladesh. The place is situated at a distance of a couple of miles, where most of the 421,000 Rohingya Muslims, who also fled violence in Myanmar since August 25, have taken abode, mentions the Reuters report.
The Hindu refugees are scared of moving back to their villages in the Buddhist majority Myanmar’s restless Rakhine state. Modi government, meanwhile, is working to make things easier for Hindus, christians, Buddhists, and other minorities from Pakistan and Bangladesh to gain access to Indian citizenship.
“India is also known as Hindustan, the land of the Hindus,” said a Hindu refugee, Niranjan Rudra, “We just want a peaceful life in India, not much. We may not get that in Myanmar or here.”
The fellow refugees agreed and shared their desire of getting this message received by the Indian government through media.
The Indian government, however, has declined to comment on hopes of Hindu refugees. it was waiting for the Supreme Court to hear an appeal against the home ministry’s plans of deporting around 40,000 Rohingya Muslims from India.
Achintya Biswas, a senior member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) also called the World Hindu Council, on the other hand, stated India as the natural destination for the Hindus fleeing Myanmar.
“Hindu families must be allowed to enter India by the government,” Biswas said, according to a report by Reuters, “Where else will they go? This is their place of origin.”
Biswas said the VHP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, would be submitting a report to the home ministry demanding a new policy that would be allowing Hindu refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh to seek asylum in India.
While India’s Home Ministry spokesman, K.S. Dhatwalia declined to comment, a senior home ministry official in New Delhi, on the condition of anonymity, mentioned that no Hindu in Myanmar or Bangladesh affected by the violence had approached Indian authorities.
“At this juncture we have no SOS calls from Hindus,” the official said.
“Also, the Supreme Court is yet to decide whether India should deport Rohingya Muslims or not. The matter is sub-judice and any policy decision will be taken only after the court’s order.”
Hindus form a small but an established minority in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Rudra along with other Hindu refugees talked about how they fled soon after Rohingya insurgents attacked 30 Myanmar police posts, instigating a fierce military counterattack.
“Our village in Myanmar was surrounded by hundreds of men in black masks on the morning of Aug. 25,” said Veena Sheel, a mother-of-two whose husband works in Malaysia.
“They called some men out and asked them to fight the security forces … a few hours after we heard gunshots,” she added.
Soon after taking office in 2014, the Modi government issued orders stating that no Hindu, or refugees of other minority from Bangladesh and Pakistan would be deemed as illegal immigrants even if they had entered the country without having the required documents, on or before December 31, 2014.
India, indeed, is in a tough situation, where it can’t compromise with the principles it holds being a Secular nation that is always engaged in humanitarian activities, but will also need to keep in mind the potential security threats that might come along with such an act of acceptance.
-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha
The Bill was passed in the State Assembly and it prohibits the killing of cows and its female calf across the state
In Assam, the slaughter of cows is banned
The people of Sikkim consider the cow as sacred and have an emotional attachment to it
New Delhi, August 31, 2017: Sikkim became the 2nd North Eastern state (after Assam) to ban Cow Slaughter, the bill was passed by Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) which is a part of the BJP’s North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA). On August 29, the Bill was passed in the State Assembly and it prohibits the killing of cows and its female calf across the state.
The legislation was tabled by Somnath Poudyal, the state Animal Husbandry Minister and it was titled Sikkim Prevention of Cow Slaughter Bill, 2017.
As per the Sikkim Prevention of Cow Slaughter Bill, 2017, a cow has been defined as a dry cow, milking cow, calf and under the Act it will be a non-bailable offense and cognizable offense. If anyone is found slaughtering a cow in Sikkim, he/she will face imprisonment of not less than 2 years (it can be extended to 5 years) and the offender will have to pay a fine of minimum Rs 10,000. A repeat offender will have to face rigorous imprisonment for at least 5 years (it can be extended to 7 years) with a fine of not less than Rs 10,000.
Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, during the discussion on the Bill on 29th August, said that the protection of cow has become vital due to the “need of inputs for organic farming” in Sikkim.
Chamling said, “The government wants to invoke a humane, ethical and sustainable alternative to taking care of aged and unproductive cows in gaushalas (cow sheds).” The Chief Minister said that the state government will construct 2 gaushalas for this purpose.
Until now, other North Eastern states have not banned cow slaughter. However, in Assam, the slaughter of cows is banned with one exception- if ‘fit for slaughter’ certificate is issued to them, those cows will be slaughtered at designated places. Though, they are not strict enough as cow slaughter is not a cognizable offense.
In Sikkim, the majority Nepali Hindu population doesn’t consume beef but the native population of Bhutias and Lepchas traditionally do.
Poudyal talked about how the cow is considered as a mother in India for the dairy industry, agriculture industry, and the mankind. He said, “The people of Sikkim consider the cow as sacred and have an emotional attachment to it.”
Poudyal gave some other reasons as well:
The dairy sector in Sikkim is the single-largest employer along with agriculture and is a major source of income for small and marginal farmers.
Over 80% of the rural households own dairy animals and earn supplementary income from these activities.
He added, “The government has deemed it necessary to frame a legislation to prohibit and prevent the slaughter of cows and its female progeny in the state of Sikkim.”
The new legislation provides an exception- for the cows suffering from contagious or infectious diseases. If one wants to slaughter an infected cow, a certificate is required from the competent authority. A designated place will be chosen to slaughter such a cow which will be according to the rules set in the Act. The dead body of the cow should be disposed of or buried according to the rules prescribed in the new Act.
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A report by IndiaSpend suggests that Muslims were the target of 51% of violence centered on issues related to cow for over eight years
The report is based on the survey of reports in English language media available online since 2010
86% of those killed in the incidents related to cow protectionism, according to the report, were Muslims
New Delhi, August 19, 2017: Cow vigilantism and the violence related to it is not an unfamiliar story in India these days. But a report by IndiaSpend has highlighted the scale of the issue.
According to a survey that took into account the reports in IndiaSpend, the data was accessible online since 2010- it claims that Muslims were the target of 51% of violence that centered on issues related to cow for over eight years, 2010-2017, making them 86% of the 28 Indians that were killed in 63 incidents related to cow protectionism.
97% of these incidents, according to IndiaSpend, were reported after the Modi government came to power in 2014. 32 of the 63 cases were from the states that BJP governed when the incidents were reported. No less than 124 people were injured in these attacks, more than half of which were only based on rumors.
20 such attacks were reported in the first six months of 2017, more than 75% of that in 2016, making it the worst year for cow-related violence.
The attacks included a range of crimes such as mob lynching, murder, attempt to murder, harassment, assault and even gang rape. These attacks were reported from 19 of the 29 states of India, with Northern states, especially Uttar Pradesh and Haryana topping the list. 13 of the total 63 cases were reported from the Southern and Eastern states, with six being reported from Karnataka. Northeast accounted for only one incident, in which two men were murdered in Assam, on 30th April 2017.
“Lynching does not find mention in the Indian Penal Code. No particular law has been passed to deal with lynching. Absence of a codified law to deal with mob violence or lynching makes it difficult to deliver justice in the cases of riots. However, Section 223(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 says that persons or a mob involved in the same offense in the same act can be tried together. But, this has not proved to have given enough legal teeth to (the) justice delivery system. – India Today, 25 June 2017”
Out of the 63 attacks that were reported over a span of eight years, 5% faded away without any reports of the attackers being arrested. In 13 attacks (21%), police registered cases against the victims or the survivors. In 23 attacks, the attackers were mobs or people belonging to the Hindu groups such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and local Gau Rakshak Samitis.
From 2010 to 2017, which is the period being considered, the first attack of cow related violence in which four people were injured and three were arrested, occurred in Joga town in Mansa district, Punjab, on June 10, 2012.
“Led by activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Gowshala Sangh, villagers gathered in the morning and broke into the premises of the factory…The mob went on the rampage damaging the factory and setting ablaze the houses of at least two of those running the unit, Ajaib Singh and Mewa Singh,” reported The Hindu the next day.
In August 2016, in Mewat, Haryana, a woman, and her 14-year-old cousin were, allegedly, gang raped after they were accused of eating beef.
On May 30, 2017, a Ph.D. scholar in IIT Madras, was attacked for eating beef, when he was at a vegetarian mess on the campus.
33 out of the 63 attacks since 2010 were based on rumors.
In a recent case on April 21, 2017, Pehlu Khan, a 55-year-old dairy farmer from Alwar in Rajasthan was beaten to death, on suspicion of carrying cattle for slaughter.
On June 11, 2017, in Rajasthan, officials of the Animal Husbandry Department of Tamil Nadu’s government were attacked by cow vigilantes, for transporting cows in five trucks, mentioned the Indian Express report. The fact that they had a no-objection certificate (NOC) and official permission from police and other authorities did not prove any help.
Massive protests have had happened in states like Kerala, West Bengal, and in the Northeast, since the Centre decided to modify an existing law against cruelty to animals, to ban sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter. The Threat of cow vigilantism, after all, has only been increasing.
-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha