Chandigarh, Mar 14: The Haryana Government has imposed a complete ban on the sale of beef in any form and proposed to provide for 10 years rigorous imprisonment for cow slaughter, but ruled out equating it with murder.
"The ban also covers canned beef which was legal during the tenure of previous government," according to an official release quoting Animal Husbandry Minister O P Dhankar issued here this evening.
The move comes days after another BJP-ruled state Maharashtra banned sale and consumption of beef and imposed a five-year jail term for cow slaughter.
"The news being telecast by some TV channels that under the new law, a case would be registered under section 302 (murder) of the IPC against the person found guilty of cow slaughter was wrong," Dhankar clarified.
"There will be no such provision in the law which would aim at the protection and promotion of cows," he added.
The state government is engaged in framing a stringent law to clamp a complete ban on cow slaughter, he said.
The minister said that the 'Gau Sanrakshan Avm Gau Samwardhan' (Cow Protection and Cow Conservation and Development) Bill', which will be presented in the Budget session of the Haryana Assembly, was being framed after studying laws in different states and would be more stringent.
"It would have provision of 10 years' imprisonment if found guilty of cow slaughter. Action would also be taken against the driver of the vehicle carrying beef and the vehicle would be impounded," the minister said.
The new bill would double the jail term for cow slaughter in Haryana where under the present law, there is a provision of five years rigorous imprisonment for the same.
He said that there are about three lakh cows in 400 'gaushalas' across the state. Apart from this, about 1.5 lakh are stray cows and 18 lakh are being reared by people in their houses.
"There is a proposal to set up cow reserves for these 1.5 lakh stray cows for which land is being identified. The cow reserves or sanctuaries would be set up in any district of the state adjoining Rajasthan," he added.
There was also a proposal to provide subsidy to the tune of 50 per cent to the farmers for setting up small dairy and mini-dairy units for indigenous cows, he said. Similarly, 25 per cent subsidy would be given for setting up big dairy units, he added.