To mark the Islamic festival of Bakri Eid, the Karnataka government has urged district authorities to carefully control the slaughter of cows across the state, and a new law will be implemented ahead of Eid. The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cow Bill 2020 makes the slaughter of cattle, with the exception of buffalo, from the age of 13 a serious offense punishable by up to seven years in prison.
According to reports, Minister of Animal Husbandry Prabhu Chauhan has advised the Muslim community not to offer animals as sacrifices. The ministry has issued a warning that anyone sacrificing livestock this weekend during Bakri Eid will face the full force of the law. “Police and animal husbandry officials have been ordered to maintain strict vigils across the state to ensure strict compliance with the new law. Close surveillance is maintained at the borders (with neighboring countries) to ensure that no cattle are being transported,” he explained.
The government has set up a task force to implement the new rule, which will only allow the killing of buffalo older than 13 years that have been deemed fit for human consumption and slaughter by animal husbandry officials. A campaign against cattle sacrifice during Bakri Eid has reportedly already been initiated by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal. Their cadres were assigned to oversee the movement of cattle to other southern states as well.
Muslims in Karnataka have also been warned that they risk legal consequences if they sacrifice livestock. According to Maulana Mohammed Maqsood Imran, the chief imam of Bangalore’s Juma Masjid, all mosques and Muslim organizations have been ordered to inform the public of the need to strictly comply with the new anti-cattle killing rule.
“Sacrificing goats is the best option under these circumstances. So we have informed our community about the need to abide by the law and avoid trouble on behalf of Bakri Eid victim,” Maulana Mohammed Maqsood Imran was quoted as saying. He pleaded with the state administration to prevent the Sangh Parivar groups from enforcing the legislation in the name of vigilantism. No one has the power to enforce their own laws and the government must ensure that, he stressed.
Since the new ordinance went into effect, a number of people have been arrested for selling beef in the state. On July 1, a father and son were arrested in Bantwal, Dakshina Kannada district, on suspicion of selling meat and slaughtering cows.