Anti-cow slaughter bill passed by K'taka Assembly

Bengaluru: The Karnataka Assembly on Wednesday adopted a controversial anti-cow slaughter bill that proposes a maximum of seven years' imprisonment and fine of Rs five lakh for the offenders.

The bill was passed in the BJP-dominated state assembly amid bedlam with the opposition Congress staging a walkout, with Karnataka seeking to join the saffron party-ruled Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh which have a similar law. Congress announced boycotting Thursday's proceedings in the House on the issue while the BJP arranged for a 'gau pooja' (cow worship) to thank the government for taking steps to bring in a legislation.

The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill-2020 seeks a total ban on the slaughter of cows in the state and provides for stringent punishment to those who indulge in smuggling, illegal transportation, atrocities on cows and slaughtering them.

Besides cows, it also intends to protect buffaloes and their calves less than 12 years of age.

"Yes, the bill has been passed in the Assembly," state Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy said. The proposed law prohibits slaughter of cattle, restriction of transport of cattle for the purpose of slaughter, prohibition of sale and purchase or disposal of cattle for slaughter and these offences are cognizable. It said that whoever is found guilty of slaughtering cattle, "be punished with imprisonment which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to seven years or with a fine which shall not be less than Rs 50,000 per cattle but which may extend to Rs five lakh

or both."

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