New Delhi, May 4 (UNI) Making a vociferous plea for preserving the cow, Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Jyotishpeeth, Swami Madhavashram today called upon the Centre to frame a law for banning cow slaughter in the country and close down big slaughter houses in the pipeline under the eleventh five year plan.
Addressing a press conference here, the Shankaracharya said a nine-point memorandum, prepared by the All India All Party cow Protection Campaign Committee, for protecting the cow would soon be presented to the Central government.
The nine-point memorandum, which had already been sent to several Union Ministers, alleged that slaughter of lakhs of cows on Bakr-id was unconstitutional citing in this context a ruling of the Calcutta High court which had struck down a relief provided under the state law for cow slaughter by the Muslims on Bakr-id. The High court ruled that even under the islamic law the slaughter of cows during Bakr-id was not mandatory.
The memorandum also questioned the illegal export of cow flesh under name like 'Buffalow beef' while further alleging that 25 to 30 thousand cows and buffaloes were being smuggled daily to Bangladesh for their eventual slaughter there.
''Though the previous government at the Centre had tried to check this trend by putting a stop to the ferrying of these animals to Bangladesh by rail, the present government lifted this restriction. Though newspaper reports suggested that the Centre would soon bring in Parliament a law to prevent smuggling of animals to Bangladesh, such a law is yet to be introduced,''the Shankaracharya said.
It was also alleged in the memorandum that the last two years have witnessed a large scale export and smuggling of cows to Pakistan. It also alleged that Rs 3500 crore had been provided in the eleventh five year plan for setting up of 550 big slaughter houses in India.
The Shankaracharya alleged that the "anti-cow" policies of the present government had led to a sharp fall in the number of cows in the country.
''Infact, several local breeds of the cow have faded into obsolescence. A direct consequence of this is the lack of availability of nutritional and healthy milk for the children and the youth of the country who in recent times are increasingly consuming pasteurised milk, thus stunting their development,''the Shankracharya said.
He said that even though he had sent the memorandum to several ministers of the Union cabinet, he had yet to recieve any reply from them.
''All Central Ministers and even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi have been sent this memorandum.
But till date there has been no response from the government on the issue,''the religious leader said.
He warned that if the government will not respond on the issue soon, the activists of the cow protection campaign would carry out a door-to-door campaign against the government.
The Shankaracharya said states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Uttarakhand have already promulgated a law banning cow slaughter.
''The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has also promised to bring a similar law in the state,''he said.
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