After the Gujarat Assembly passed an amendment bill which said those who involved in cow slaughtering will face life imprisonment, the Chief Minister of the state Vijay Rupani said he wants to make Gujarat a “vegetarian” state.
According to The Indian Express, Rupani said he was not against any food, he wanted to make Gujarat “shakahari” (vegetarian). “We do not want Jersey cows, but Gir and Kankreji cows instead.”
He also mentioned Gujarat as a “unique state”. Rupani described, “This is Gandhi’s Gujarat, Sardar’s (Vallabhbhai Patel) Gujarat and (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi’s Gujarat.”
The Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill came eight months after the cow vigilantes beat seven Dalits for cow slaughter in Una.
The Bill has a provision for ten-year imprisonment for transportation, sale or storage of beef. It has also banned the transportation of animals from one place to another in the night.
State Home Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja said, “Cows not just have religious significance, they also have an economic significance in our society. It is utmost necessary to increase the punishment to deter those involved in the slaughtering of cows.”
When Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2011 his government amended the act and had imposed a complete ban on the slaughter of cows, transportation and selling of beef.
That time, those who found guilty in slaughtering cows were faced a penalty of Rs 50,000 and jail term up to seven years.
According to the Act, one can transport calves with permission but not between 7 pm and 5 pm.
The statement of the Bill said, “In the year 2011, the State Government had made certain amendments in the said Act for better implementation of the Act. It is, however, experienced while implementing the said Act that still more stringent provisions are required to be made by amending the said Act for curbing the menace of illegal slaughtering of the animals covered under the said Act to provide for more stringent punishment and effectively check the rampant use of vehicles for transporting such animals.”
The Bill also proposed all the offences shall be considered cognisable and non-bailable.