Fulfilling a promise made in the BJP'selection manifesto and respecting the sentiments of saints and crores of Hindus, the Uttarakhand Government passed a bill banning cow slaughter. The Uttarakhand Protection of Cow Progeny Bill, 2007, was tabled by Tourism and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shri Parkash Pant even as the Opposition members were busy creating uproarious scenes. However as the Opposition was busy creating a ruckus, the Bill was passed without any discussion by a voice vote.
Under the new Act, cow slaughter would be an offence punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term that could be extended up to 10 years. The new Act also banned any trade in beef. No one in the state would be able to possess or sell, trade in or transport beef directly or indirectly. The new Act would replace the UP Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955, presently in force in the state.
The measure also prohibited persons to free cows to wander on the streets after milking them. It envisaged that the state government and NGOs would set up institutions necessary for taking care of uneconomic cow progeny. Provisions of the Bill would however not apply to those cows suffering from incurable and intolerable pain or have some contagious/infectious disease, which could be cause of danger to livestock and human beings.
The Bill stipulates that no person should possess, sell and transport beef or beef products in any form. Restriction has also been imposed on transportation of cows outside the state.
Anyone found violating provisions of the Bill could be sentenced to a jail term, ranging from one week to 10 years and paying a fine up to Rs 10,000. Cow slaughter and sale and transportation have been marked as cognizable and non-bailable offences.