The Gujarat Assembly on Friday passed a Bill that increased the punishment for cow slaughter in the BJP-ruled state from 7-10 years, to life imprisonment.
A fine of up to Rs 1 lakh could also be imposed on those found guilty of the crime, while the vehicle that was used for transportation would be permanently confiscated. The offence will likely be made cognizable and non-bailable.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat in 2011, his government had amended the Gujarat Animal Preservation Act, 1954 to impose a complete ban on the slaughtering and transportation of cows and progeny in the state.
Interestingly, the BJP government at the Centre, which has consistently reiterated its stand against cow slaughter, has said that there would be no ban on beef in the three northeastern states of Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland which are supposed to go to polls next year.