Special squads to check cow slaughter, smuggling in Uttarakhand

The Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Trivendra Rawat has directed the formation of special protection teams to keep a check on cow smuggling and slaughter in the state.

The protection teams have been constituted in the Kumaon and Garhwal regions, comprising of 11 police personnel each.

The squads will keep a check over cow-smuggling and undertake the necessary investigation on cow slaughter.

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The Uttarakhand Assembly had, in July, passed a bill banning cow slaughter in the state.

Under the bill, cow slaughter is an offence punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may be extended up to 10 years but not less than three years and a fine which may be extended up to Rs 10,000, but not less than Rs 5,000.

Violence related to cow vigilantism, of late, has been on a rise in the country, especially in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled states, with vigilantes targeting those engaged in their trade and slaughter.

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The Supreme Court of India, in September, had asked for a compliance report from all the states in connection with cow vigilantism.

The apex court was hearing the plea filed by Sehzad Poonawalla.

The plea alleged that these groups were committing atrocities against the Dalits and other minorities in the name of protection of cows and they needed to be “regulated and banned in the interest of social harmony, public morality and law and order in the country”.

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