Mumbai (The Hindu): The Shiv Sena, in a sarcastic take on the BJP-ruled States enacting laws making punishment for cow slaughter harsher, said on Monday that if there is a penalty for killing cows, the governments too are liable to be held responsible for farmer suicides.
“We congratulate those who consider cow slaughter a crime, but what about farmer suicides? Farmer suicides should be considered a culpable homicide, and it should be clarified on who should be termed criminals; who should be sentenced to life and hanged,” said an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana.
Speaking to reporters later in the day, Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said, “There are talks of a State handing out death penalty to those who slaughter cows. Then, murder charge should be invoked against governments for driving farmers to commit suicide. Both farmers and cows have the right to live. Like cows, even farmers need to be saved.”
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Saturday had said that those who kill cows in the State will be hanged. Last week, Gujarat passed a law making cow slaughter punishable with life term. In March 2015, the BJP-led Maharashtra government had enforced the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, banning the slaughter of bulls and bullocks.
“Farmers going on a strike means the State is heading towards lawlessness. The Opposition’s Sangharsh Yatras won’t work. The government should take firm steps to help the distressed farmers. Otherwise, it should be held responsible for their plight,” said Mr. Raut, adding the government should take the responsibility of these animals (cows) when they get old. He also sought to know how the country could remain one of the largest exporters of meat when a pro-Hindutva government is in power. “In the last two years, the export of beef has increased substantially.”
Meanwhile, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has called for an urgent meeting of party MLAs and ministers from Maharashtra at his residence Matoshri on Thursday. This is the second meeting in two weeks amidst speculations that the Sena is not happy with the functioning of the State government.
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