How K’taka Beef Ban Law Violates Privacy & Abets Cow Vigilantism

What does Karnataka’s anti-cattle slaughter bill say about the state government’s intentions? Tune in!

1 min read

Widening the ambit of an already existing anti-cattle slaughter bill, the BS Yediyurappa-led Karnataka government on 10 December passed a controversial legislation to enforce a blanket ban on cattle slaughter in the state.

Among other things, the contentious Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2020 widens the definition of cattle to include “cow, calf of a cow and bull, bullock and he or she buffalo”. Secondly, it provides for a rigorous punishment for those held guilty of slaughtering, smuggling or illegally transporting cattle with 3-7 years of imprisonment along with steep fines of ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh or both.

Before tabling the bill, Karnataka Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu Chavan travelled to Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat to study and gather information on how to formulate the "most stringent" anti-cow slaughter legislation.

But the law that has been approved raises several questions. Is this level of punishment justified? At a time when there has been a marked rise in cases of cow vigilantism over mere suspicion of beef consumption and illegal cattle transportation, does this law abet cow vigilantism? Does it ignore food habits and livelihoods? And most importantly, what does it say about the Karnataka government's intentions?

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