In order to contain law and order issues, Maharashtra Police will now introduce cow meat detection kits to know if the meat seized from a vehicle, restaurant or anywhere else is beef (cow or bullock meat) or buffalo meat. A senior officer said that around 45 forensic vehicles will get the kits, worth Rs 8,000 each.
According to forensic science laboratory (FSL) director Krishna Kulkarni, the kits will test the meat and give result in 30 minutes. The Maharashtra Police plans to launch the meat detection kits drive by August.
The new kits will help the police in testing the meat on the spot and register a case if the seized meat turns out to be beef. "If preliminary tests reveal that the meat is that of a cow, we will collect samples and conduct a DNA test in the FSL. We will then draw up a final report," said Kulkarni.
The move is expected to counter the several incident of violence which has been triggered in the state due to suspected case of beef consumption.
The mobile forensic support units will also be able to collect blood samples and fingerprints to generate forensic evidence for judicial scrutiny. At present, the state's forensic science laboratories available in the Pune, Mumbai and Nagpur get around 100 meat samples for testing every month but their reports take days.
The Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, 1976, bans the killing of cows and calves. In January, Bombay High Court had upheld the same but had said that mere possession of beef won't invite criminal action. This legislation was approved by President Pranab Mukherjee in 2015.