Tuesday, March 31, 2015

In Malegaon, cops want all local cows caught on camera





Mumbai: The Malegaon police, who last week registered the first case under Maharashtra's new law banning beef, have now issued a diktat to all owners of cows and bullocks in the township: submit to the local police station the photograph of each and every cow and bullock, so that police can keep the pictures in their files for reference just in case a criminal case crops up.
Mahesh Sawai, deputy superintendent of police (DSP), confirmed that the police have asked cow and bullock owners to send in the pictures. “The purpose is to carry out a census and keep a record. Besides, this will help to verify mattes if someone feeds us wrong information about pet animals or animals working in the field,“ he said.

However, neither the state government nor the top police authorities have issu ed any such directive for a `census' or for the purpose of keeping a record.

On March 25, the Malegaon police booked three persons--Asif Talathi, Hameed Landi and Rasheed Pandiya --under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 1995 after the local Azad Nagar police got a tip-off that they were selling beef. A total of 150kg of beef was seized.

All three accused have been arrested and sent to police custody till March 31. The slaughter of cows was earlier prohibited in the state under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, 1976. The Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 1995, which recently received presidential assent, bans the slaughter of bulls and bullocks as well.

Sawai defended the police order saying, “We are keeping the photographs for verification purposes only . If someone alleges that some illegal activity has taken place and if the owner has a photo, it will be easy to establish the truth. We have conveyed the message to the residents of Malegaon, including animal traders. We have also asked them to register their pet animals with the Malegaon civic corporation.“

Late Monday evening, the Malegaon police seized five cows. “The owner has said he would only sell the milk of these cows. We are busy corroborating the facts, and no FIR has been registered,“ Sawai said.

The police had detained the cows, but Sawai denied that any detentions had taken place. “We have not detained them but are just keeping an eye on them. The owners' men possess the cows,“ Sawai said.

A resident of the township said, “The practice of seizing animals in this manner will result in a lot of discomfort in this town. Cops are asking for photos of animals when there is no law that says we should send them pictures.“


The Times of India, March 31, 2015

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