The first arrest under the new anti-cattle slaughter law in Karnataka was made by police officials in Sringeri in Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka. The police arrested Abhidali, the driver of a Tata Eicher vehicle going from Davangere to Mangaluru via Sringeri. A first information report was registered against Abhidali after he was found by a police official on the morning of January 8 transporting 12-15 cattle in his vehicle.
A police official who was posted at the Begar check post for night duty was travelling back to Sringeri after finishing his shift at 7:00 am. Around 7:15 am, he reportedly saw Abhidali and his vehicle stopped on the road and checked on him. Abhidali told the police that four unknown persons in a Maruti car had stopped his vehicle and attacked him.
The complaint copy also states that another truck with around 15 cows was accompanying the one driven by Abhidali. When they were stopped on the side of the road by a group of four people, the driver and cleaner in the other truck ran away. Soon after, the vigilantes who stopped the trucks assaulted Abhidali and injured him.
Abhidali was taken to the Sringeri government hospital in an ambulance. The police official who stopped him found that there were 12-15 cattle in the vehicle and informed the inspector of the Sringeri police station about this. A case was registered against Abhidali under the new anti-cattle slaughter law passed in Karnataka and he was arrested. The driver and the cleaner in the other vehicle is still absconding.
Even though the FIR against Abhidali uploaded online showed that he was charged under the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964, Chikkamagaluru SP Hakay Akshay Machindra confirmed to TNM that he was charged under the new act promulgated earlier this month.
Abhidali and the absconding driver and cleaner duo were charged under the new anti-cow slaughter law in two separate cases.
A third FIR was registered against the unknown persons who stopped the vehicles transporting cows and attacked the drivers. They were charged with assaulting the drivers. One of the aspects of the new anti-cattle slaughter law is that it protects â€śpersons acting in good faithâ€ť to prevent cow slaughter from legal action however Sringeri police told TNM that in this case, an FIR was registered against the persons who stopped the vehicles with cows in it. They also confirmed that Abhidali was assaulted and sustained a fracture on his arm.
Under the recently promulgated anti-cattle slaughter law in Karnataka, slaughtering of nearly all cattle - cow, calf of cow, bull, bullock - is illegal. According to the law, only male or female buffalo above the age of 13 can be slaughtered, but cows, calf of a cow, bull, bullock are prohibited from slaughter. This has also meant that beef meat will be unavailable in the state and only buffalo meat from buffaloes above 13 years of age can be sold.
The previous 1964 act had banned the slaughter of cows and calf of she-buffalo. However, the older law had permitted bull, bullock, buffalo (male or female) to be slaughtered if the animal was above 12 years of age, or if it was incapacitated for breeding, draught or not giving milk due to injury, deformity or any other cause.
The new law states that the penalty for any other slaughter will range from Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh per animal and three to seven yearsâ€™ imprisonment. It also gives the police power to search and seize on the basis of â€śreason to believeâ€ť that cattle is being sold, purchased or disposed of for the purpose of slaughter.