Amid growing bickering over beef, the first-ever BJP government in Haryana, headed by Manohar Lal Khattar, a one-time pracharak of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), is raring to show that its cow protection slogan isn’t just rhetoric.
The Khattar government has stepped up the process of setting up gau abhyarans (cow sanctuaries) in Hisar and Yamunanagar in the current financial year to provide shelter for stray cows and bulls in the state.
“We are setting up the first two cow sanctuaries over 150 acres of land in Hisar and Yamunanagar in the next four months for 9,000 stray cows in the two districts,” director general, animal husbandry, Dr Jakhar told HT.
With a stiff target of providing shelter and silage for all 1.17 lakh stray cows and bulls, the animal husbandry department, which identified 100 acres of land in Hisar, has started the process for its transfer to the Municipal Corporation for setting up the cow shelter after a go-ahead from the finance department.
CM Khattar, whose remarks on beef triggered a political firestorm on Friday, and his animal husbandry minister Om Prakash Dhankar, are the ones giving the ‘Gau Abhyaran’ programme a push.
Cow protection has been high on the agenda of the Khattar government with the state passing a stringent Bill in March 2015 to clamp a complete ban on cow slaughter. It provides for rigorous imprisonment up to 10 years for killing the animal.