Union Minister of State (Home) Hansraj G Ahir has proposed that 1,000 hectares of forest land be allotted to set up cow sanctuaries in every district of the 16 states where cow slaughter
is banned. This, according to the minister, will prevent "violence due to cattle smuggling".
According to a report published in The Indian Express
, Ahir is expected to meet Union Environment and Forests Minister Harsh Vardhan early in September to “take the proposal forward”.
"By setting up cow sanctuaries at district levels, the incidents of cow slaughter
can be reduced. Violence due to cattle-smuggling in states where slaughter is banned has led to a law-and-order situation. The Home Ministry faces questions in Parliament on these incidents. I have taken up this matter in the past, too," Ahir said.
According to Ahir, there will be 'zero' cost. Fodder can be collected from the forest using MGNREGA. This will in return provide employment to locals.
Shift gaushalas to sanctuaries
Hansraj Ahir has suggested to Modi government to shift cow shelters across the country to the proposed sanctuaries. This will stop the sale of non-milching and old cows to slaughterhouses, he said.
In a letter to the Enviromnment Ministry on August 16, Ahir wrote: Outlining his proposal in a letter sent to the Environment Ministry on August 16, Ahir wrote: "A total of 7 crore hectare of forest land in the country is unutilised and is not being used by forest department… Only 1000 hectare of this land is needed for setting up cow sanctuary in each district. Any farmer who wants to give away his old cow can send them to these sanctuaries… The fodder required for them is readily available at the forest. Due to laws banning cow slaughter
in 16 States, the smuggling of cattle has increased and police in these States face the problem of lodging them after seizures… Setting up of cow sanctuaries may prove to be a boon to deal with such situations…"
Ahir is an MP representing Chandrapur in Maharashtra, where cow slaughter
Violence by cow protectionists on rise
Hate crimes in the name of cow protection have been rising in recent months. According to a report released by the US State Department, there has been a spike in the violent incidents by cow protection groups in India. The incidents include killings, mob violence, assaults and intimidation and the target of these were mostly Muslims, the report said.
UP CM directs setting up cow protection groups
While Hansraj Adhir
proposed forest land be allotted to set up cow sanctuaries, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath
has directed the officials concerned to set up 'gaushalas' (cow shelters) in seven districts of Bundelkhand region in the state and areas under 16 municipal corporations. In a meeting convened by Adityanath on Wednesday, directed the officials to set up cow shelters in seven Bundelkhand districts as well as in areas falling in 16 municipal corporations of the state for proper upkeep of these animals and also to deal with the problem of stray cattle.
The chief minister stated that this task will be carried out under the supervision of UP Gausewa Ayog.