On Friday, the Gujarat Assembly amended the cow protection law, which will now result in life imprisonment for the offenders.
The law, until now, stipulated a punishment of maximum 7 years of imprisonment.
The amendments include a fine up to Rs 1 lakh, and a permanent confiscation of vehicle used to transport cattle in. This law now makes Gujarat the toughest on cow protection, as Hindustan Times reported.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has made cow protection a central theme in his public speeches.
“We had fought a case in the Supreme Court to bring a law in Gujarat to save cows. Now, we want to make this law stricter. We will introduce a bill in the ongoing budget session of the assembly,” Rupani had said on 12 March at a function held in Junagadh, organised by Swaminarayan sect.
A significant number of Patels belong to this religious sect, and they are also the BJP’s crucial vote bank.
Social Media Reacts
Social media did not react kindly to this news. They pointed out how the punishment for rape isn’t as gruesome as the punishment for cow slaughter, and how killing the national animal, the tiger, is not as big an offence as slaughtering cows, among other things.
If only this much effort was put into making India safer for women. pic.twitter.com/lzYedU1bol— Sahil Shah (@SahilBulla) March 31, 2017
In some Indian States, the penalty for killing a Tiger, our National Animal, is lighter than the penalty for killing a Cow!— Sanjiv Bhatt (IPS) (@sanjivbhatt) March 31, 2017
Pixar should make a movie about a cow who escapes from a slaughter house in Texas and travels all the way to her dream land in India— Shower Thoughts (@atshower) March 31, 2017
Cows being called mothers hurts my sentiment.— Nilim Dutta (@NilimDutta) March 31, 2017
My mother isn't a "cow".
In Gujarat u will get life imprisonment for cow slaughter (lesser punishment for rape) but in BJP ruled Arunachal u can slaughter cows!— Shehzad Poonawalla (@Shehzad_Ind) March 31, 2017
India - A country where punishment for cow slaughter is more gruesome than punishment for rape. https://t.co/nl3Gxd127m— Nomad (@_SandSurfer) March 31, 2017