Mumbai: ‘While there is an Act banning the cow slaughter, cows are being slaughtered in broad daylight all over the State. We have gathered information along with evidence about all the cow slaughter and cow-smuggling taking place in the State. We will be handing it over to the State Government soon. We demand that the Government take immediate action on this, on the basis of existing laws.

‘When many years have passed since the enactment of the Cow Slaughter Prevention Act, when will the Government use this law to ban cow slaughter, cow-smuggling and illegal slaughter houses?’ asked Sanjay Sharma, senior cow protector Shrishivachhatrapati Goraksha Jan Andolan from Dhule. He was speaking at a special webinar on ‘Is Gomata safe in Maharashtra?’ organised by Hindu Janajagruti Samiti. If no action is taken in this regard, a people’s movement will be launched at the State level for the protection of cows, in the next two-three months. Thousands of cow protectors from 400 talukas of the State will participate in this, warned Sharma on this occasion.

The webinar was viewed by 23,453 people on ‘YouTube Live’ and ‘Facebook’ and reached 36,209 people. Online statements demanding to stop the slaughter of cows were sent to the chief minister from various districts. Awareness was also created against this through an online petition. The campaign also received a spontaneous response. As a result, the topic #gohatya_roko_dharma_bachao also trended on Twitter.

On the occasion, Sunil Ghanwat, state organiser of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti for Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh states said, “Today, not only in Maharashtra but all over the country, cows are completely insecure. There are 66,000 legal and illegal slaughterhouses operating across the country. In 1947, there were 90 crore indigenous cattle in the country. Today, 22 out of 29 States in the country have a law to ban the cow slaughter; still, cow slaughter is rampant across the country. If this continues, it may be time for the next generation to see a cow only in images. The cow slaughter laws should be strictly enforced at the national level at least now”.

The Manager of Ahimsa Tirtha Goshala at Jalgaon, Abhay Singh,, said, “The Police were helping in the past to rescue the cows; however, due to political pressure, the Police now withdraw from this duty. Adv. Nilesh Sangolkar, organiser of Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad said, “There are many laws prohibiting the movement of cattle to slaughterhouses or elsewhere illegally. However, the Government needs to show will power. Today, instead of cow-smugglers, cow protectors are being driven out of districts by filing false cases against them. We are fighting against such injustice”. The co-ordinator of Hindu Govansh Raksha Samiti, Diptesh Patil, said while describing his experience of cattle protection, “The cattle from rural areas of Maharashtra are brought to cities like Mumbai and slaughtered; however, those who smuggled and slaughtered cows were not punished on expected lines. On the contrary, the cow protectors are harassed. An outcry about this among the people is witnessed”.