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Saturday, Dec 07, 2019

Punjab cabinet gives nod for law to revive bullock cart races at Kila Raipur sports fest

For the past four years, there have been no bullock cart races at Kila Raipur, popularly known as mini or rural Olympics.

chandigarh Updated: Feb 18, 2019 16:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Bullock cart races were an integral part of Kila Raipur rural sports festival in Punjab till they were prohibited by the Supreme Court in 2014.
Bullock cart races were an integral part of Kila Raipur rural sports festival in Punjab till they were prohibited by the Supreme Court in 2014.(HT File )
         

The Punjab cabinet on Sunday gave its nod to enact a law that will pave the way for revival of the traditional annual bullock cart races at Kila Raipur rural sports festival in Ludhiana.

For the past four years, there have been no bullock cart races at Kila Raipur, popularly known as mini or rural Olympics.

To pave way for resumption of bullock cart races, the state government has decided to bring in “Prevention of Cruelty Animal (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2019, to amend the Central Act 59 of 1960.

The Cabinet, which met here under the chairmanship of chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, gave the green signal to present the Bill, in the ongoing budget session of the Punjab assembly for enactment.

“Bullock cart races had been an integral part of the state’s rich cultural legacy and heritage, till they were prohibited by the Supreme Court in 2014. Subsequently, various representations were received from time to time by the governor, the chief minister and the animal husbandry minister to allow bullock cart races. The state cabinet, in its meeting on October last year, had detailed deliberations and favoured a law to legally allow Kila Raipur sports, in which various animals also participate,” according to a Punjab government release.

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, (Central Act 59 of 1960) was enacted to prevent the infliction of unnecessary cruelty and suffering on animals. “The Act also recognises the need to exempt the application of its provisions in certain circumstances. The state government has decided to exempt the conduct of bullock cart racing in Kila Raipur event from the provisions of the said Central Act 59 of 1960, in view of the significant role played by the traditional rural sporting event and fair, which has been taking place at Kila Raipur (Ludhiana) since the 1930s, in promoting the spirit of games and sports. The government feels the sport also enriches the cultural heritage and tradition of Punjab, while being a great source of entertainment, especially for rural Punjab,” according to an official release.

“It is in this background that the state government has decided to amend the Central Act 59 of 1960 in its application to the state of Punjab for the resumption of bullock cart races during the annual Kila Raipur rural sports.”