Khandwa/Bhopal: Although the government in Madhya Pradesh has changed in the last three months, yet the previous BJP government’s love for the holy cow remains undiluted under the Congress government as well.
Going by its poll promises of dedicating itself for cow protection, the Congress government on Tuesday had slapped the stringent National Security Act (NSA) against three persons accused of cow slaughter in the communally-sensitive Khandwa district.
The local butcher community that suspects the police action was politically motivated, is seeking a fair probe into the issue. They allege that the cops are trying to trap innocents in the case just to show their love for the animal and get promotions.
On 5 February, three persons were booked under the state’s anti-cow slaughter law and a few hours later NSA was invoked to maintain peace in the area.
According to district superintendent of police Siddharth Bahuguna, Raju alias Nadeem and Shakeel from Kharkali village were arrested early on Friday while Azam, the third accused who had managed to escape, was nabbed on Monday.
Moghat police station in-charge Mohan Singore said they got a tip-off about cow slaughter in Kharkhali village at midnight. “We recovered the carcass of a heifer from the spot and caught Nadeem and Shakeel who were trying to escape. The police have booked the accused under Sections 4, 6, 9 of the Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act,” he said.
Cops said that Nadeem is a habitual offender and had been booked previously also under the cow slaughter legislation.
Home Minister Bala Bachchan is hoping of more such police action in the future.
Talking about their plans to protect the cow, he said, "We are following our Vachan Patra (election manifesto) about protection of cows. We are committed towards our promises and it is reflecting in our action. If anyone will indulge in the killing of cows, we will take the same action against them again and again. Police will continue their action against cow slaughter in the future."
The Kamal Nath government has also initiated a plan of building cow shelter in every village. “Unlike other governments who only talk about saving cows, our government is protecting the cow in its real meaning," said Bachchan.
Fear is palpable in Khandwa’s Imalipur butchers' market. Even the 28 shops owners who have the licence to slaughter cattle are now reeling under police fear.
Altaf Qureshi, who belongs to the butchers' community of Imalipur, said all the licensed meat shops in the locality are following the norms of local bodies during the slaughter process.
“We are against cow slaughter and strictly follow the rules and regulations. If you observe the action of the police, there are many loopholes. Police wrote in its FIR that the accused fled from the spot after the police raid,” Altaf said. He suspects foul play.
"I spoke to the family members who said the accused were sleeping at their homes when the incident happened,” the butcher said.
Altaf also suspected that cops are taking revenge on the butchers' community. He said, "Three days before the police action, an inspector rank officer came to our market and started checking our licences. While some shopkeepers co-operated, others argued with him about the right of the police to check such licences. The inspector then warned the butchers' community of dire consequences."
Having sided with the Congress in the last Lok Sabha election, he hoped that the party, now in power in the state, will listen to them.
“We have approached senior police officers, the home minister and Chief Minister Kamal Nath with our problems. We are following the norms set by the law while slaughtering cattle. We never touch cows. We want to do our business peacefully,” Altaf said.
On the condition of anonymity, a shopkeeper told us that besides the licensed ones, few other small vendors used to set up temporary shops in the market. Besides checking, the police have also set up a CCTV camera in front of the market to keep an eye on cow slaughters.
“However, from the last few days cops have started threatening us,” the shopkeeper said.
Muneesh Mishra, district Congress president of Khandwa, praised the police saying action against cow slaughters is the need of the hour.
“Khandwa is infamous for cow slaughters and they always trick the cops. Butchers have changed their modus operandi after vigilance by police and locals. Earlier, they used to transport cows alive in trucks after buying them from villages but now they are slaughtering cows in the village and then bringing in the flesh,” the Congress leader said.
The Congress in its election manifesto said that it will establish a Gaushala (cow shelter) in every Panchayat and cow sanctuaries at certain places.
According to the manifesto, the maintenance of these sanctuaries and cow shelters will be funded by the government. The government will also promote the production of gaumutra, cow dung and dung cake on a commercial scale. There will be a shelter and medical facility on main roads for treatment of injured cows. The government will also make necessary arrangements for the last rituals of dead cows, the manifesto said.
The author is a Bhopal-based freelance writer and a member of 101Reporters.com.
Updated Date: Feb 08, 2019 16:42:09 IST