A day after advocate general Sunil Manohar’s statement in court kicked off a row, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis clarified that the government had no intention to extend the ban on meat other than beef. He said the media reports about plans to ban slaughter of other animals were because of misinterpretation.
On Monday, Manohar had reportedly told the Bombay HC — which was hearing a string of petitions against ban on beef — that the government was also planning to ban slaughter of other animals used for meat. After criticism from various quarters and being cornered by the
Opposition as well as its ally Shiv Sena, the government was forced to come out clean on the issue. “I spoke to the advocate general, who said his statement had been misinterpreted. He told the court that the ban on the slaughter of cow progeny was to prevent cruelty to animals. When HC asked about cruelty to other animals, Manohar said the government may look into it,” Fadnavis told HT.
Fadnavis said the AG’s statement does not mean that the state has plans of banning slaughter of other animals. “We neither intend to extend the ban on slaughter to other animals nor does the constitution have any such provision. We are not going to make any amendment to the existing Act. The AG’s statement was misquoted by a section of the media,” Fadnavis told the Assembly.
Members of both Houses had demanded the government to clarify the issue. Arjun Khotkar from the Shiv Sena and Shashikant Shinde from the NCP raised the issue in the Assembly.
In the upper House, the Shiv Sena joined the Opposition in cornering the government over the issue. “The state can’t interfere with the food habits of the people. There are thousands of people whose livelihood would be affected if the state bans all kinds of meat,” said Neelam Gorhe, Sena legislator.
Sena sources said the party’s top leadership had issued a diktat to its leaders in both Houses to protest against extending the ban on beef to other meat.
Later while talking to reporters at Vidhan Bhavan, Fadnavis said the ban imposed on the slaughter of cow progeny was not on religious grounds. “It was purely to prevent cruelty to animals,” he added.