The Cow Mafia in Odisha

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The Cow Mafia in Odisha


By Jagpreet Luthra


The animal welfare activist are struggling to restore India’s cultural ethos of compassion, safeguard the environment, uphold the state and central laws against cow slaughter and stop the injury to the religious sentiments of a vast majority of the Indian people caused by the atrocities on cow and progeny.  These Gau-rakshaks do not have the human and material resources to convince the government and the courts about the validity of their cause and the fact that it is they who are at the receiving end of the cattle mafia’s brutality. 


The two most recent cases of the violence on cattle rescuers happened in Odisha, the first in Kala Patthar cattle market under Begunia PS in Khorda and the other in Rayagada’s  Chandli PS. In the first case, a 23-year-old man suffered severe injuries from iron rod blows as he was attacked by a group of 15 to 20 men. All his documents, including the vital aadhar card, passport, mobile and wallet were snatched from him. He was asked by the media why he carried all these important papers to a cattle market where he had gone to collect evidence of violations of the cattle market regulations. He said he was always in and out of police stations and courts and could need any or all these documents. The air is so terribly against gau-rakshaks that he needed them to prove his credentials to cops and to avoid being slapped with false counter cases. Five other people were also attacked outside the market by the cattle mafia men on the suspicion that they were all rescuers.


In the second case, software engineer K V Kannan from Hyderabad and his wife, along with a group of five friends, including two women, were travelling through Khedapoda in Rayagada district when they spotted hundreds of cattle being cruelly treated and smuggled on foot from Odisha into Andhra. Spontaneously, they leapt to the help of the cattle and stopped the escorts. As they waited for the police to turn up, they were attacked by a dozen men. The Kannan was severely injured, the women in the group were molested and all their phones and wallets were snatched. This made sensational news and more than 50 media outfits-- regional, state and national—covered the story. 


The rest of the story is familiar: the two cases were registered after much ado.  Not a single MLA or MP took up  cudgels on behalf of these victims in the house, no writer or commentator to express their shock at such unprovoked violence, no lobbyist to file a public interest litigation in favour of the cow lovers and no politician to agitate against this brutality of the cattle mafia men. The political class is normally the best bet of any successful campaign. But the cow having been condemned as a Hindu animal and its lovers branded as communalists, no political leader of any hue—left, right or centre—has the guts to protest against the violence or to defend the victims. Even the BJP is needlessly defensive on this issue. 


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rightly and repeatedly condemned the extortionists and vested interests posing as gau rakshaks. However, he has said a lot else in the same breath, which has fallen on deaf ears. We are a people who believe in feeding ants, birds, dogs, cows and monkeys and we should be true to this culture of compassion and kindness, he said at the Sabarmati Ashram in June while citing the examples of cow lovers like Mahatma Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave. 


On the other hand, an army of propagandists funded by the beef lobby: cops, lawyers, thinkers, writers, journalists, actors and politicians, all of whom are peddling the lies minted by the beef lobby. They are falsely projecting criminals as gau rakshaks and then going hammer and tong at the latter—in the media, courts and legislative houses. 


Just as poverty is not an excuse for theft and murder of humans under the law, it cannot become so for the murder of bovines. Those who are advocating the right to eating beef as the right to freedom of choice need their brains washed and a crash course in the laws of the land. It IS against the laws of 17 states to smuggle and slaughter of cattle (cow, calf, bull, bullock and buffalo) unless validated by fit-to-slaughter certificates issued for old and sick cattle. In short, it is high time for the cow lovers and rescuers to launch an all-out pen war against the falsehood of the beef lobbyists.  



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2018-02-20 07:25