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So Haryana, There’s Beef in the Seven Biryani Samples... Now What?

Chasing beef in biryani is the most futile task Haryana cops have been assigned, says a Haryana police officer.

Updated
India
4 min read
 Representational image. (Photo: iStockphoto)

The seven biryani samples taken by Haryana police from Mewat to test for the presence of beef, soon after the enactment of a strict new cow protection law in the state, have come back positive.

There’s only one question on everyone’s minds: What now?

The Quint spoke to high-ranking police sources to get an idea of what the next steps will look like, and to get answers to some of the most salient questions that naturally arise from such an investigation.

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What is the next step, now that the offending biryani has tested positive for beef?

According to the DIG Bharti Arora, on the basis of the lab report confirming the presence of beef in the biryani, the police will register an FIR under the ‘Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Act, 2015’.

On the basis of this FIR, police will arrest the owner of the shop from which the biryani samples were collected. Others who were part of the biryani-making and beef purchase will be arrested on the basis of the statement made by the shopkeeper.

How will police determine whether the beef in question is Indian, or imported?

According to police sources, the lab report will specify whether the beef is Indian or imported.

Really? Is that even possible? Do our labs have an array of DNA samples belonging to different breeds of cattle both national and international?

How would the police nab everyone involved in the slaughter, cooking and consuming of the beef?

A Haryana police officer who is part of the team formed to investigate ‘beef biryani’ admits that it will be a laborious investigation. In irritation, he adds that “instead of dealing with far more serious and heinous crimes, we are forced to part of a stupid and farcical exercise of finding the murderers of cows.”

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What makes this new law the most stringent in the country?

Under the new law, not just ‘cows’ but bulls, bullocks, oxen, heifers and calves are covered. It even covers disabled, diseased or barren cows. While in other states, only cow slaughter or meat is prohibited.

Secondly, if punished under the law, a person could face rigorous imprisonment of up to 10 years, but no less than 3 years, and a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh.

Considering that the maximum sentence for a convicted rapist in the state is 7 years, and the maximum sentence for slaughtering a cow is 10, it is clear that the government of Haryana is more outraged by the killing of cows than by sadistic attacks on almost half their population.

What is the objective of this new law?

The objective of this law is, ostensibly, to protect cows.

But can this really be true? One might think that if the safety and welfare of cows was the sole purpose, some measures might be taken to care for the several thousand abandoned non-milking and diseased cows on the streets of Haryana. What is the plan for managing their numbers? And what of poor farmers who cannot afford to keep their non-milking cows? What are they to do with them when even gaushalas refuse to accept them?

Instead of Cow ‘Protection’, What About Cow Welfare?

Is catching cow smugglers more important than nabbing criminals of far more heinous crime. (Photo: iStockphoto)
Is catching cow smugglers more important than nabbing criminals of far more heinous crime. (Photo: iStockphoto)

Dear Chief Minister, do you think Haryana possesses the police manpower to divert towards chasing cow smugglers and testing biryani?

You really need to take a look at the crime data for Haryana in 2015. According to the National Crimes Record Bureau, in 2015 there were:

84466 cognisable crime cases registered in Haryana. 1070 cases of custodial rape, 4686 cases of Kidnapping and Abduction, 1002 murders and 859 attempts to commit murder.

Instead of investing public money and manpower in catching cow smugglers, wouldn’t it be wiser to ensure the welfare of cows in the first place? Thousands of abandoned cows can be seen listlessly roaming the streets of Haryana. The situation has gotten so out of hand that gaushalas are now refusing to keep these cows, as they simply don’t have the resources to rear them.

So since the point of this law doesn’t appear to be motivated by a concern for cows, what could it be for?

This whole business of beef is nothing but politics. There is no move to take care of the cows. Cows have been made a tool of politics. Recently, in a cow shelter in Rajasthan, 500 cows died from starvation. Government should ban illegal diaries, cows shouldn’t be allowed to wander about eating polythene bags. The new Haryana law on cows is totally pointless, where many people would be working pointlessly to implement the law.
Rukmani Sheker, Writer and Activist

Mr Khattar, don’t you think putting your resources into curbing violent crime against your own people is more important than peeping into people’s plates?

Your new law and the beef witch-hunt has turned ‘biryani’ into a cuss word, imbued with all kinds of communal connotations.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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