Eshwarappa backs home minister over foul language used against police in cow-slaughter incident
Senior BJP leader and Karnataka minister KS Eshwarappa on Sunday backed statements made by his cabinet colleague Araga Jnanendra, who has been criticised for accusing police of taking bribes to allow cow thieves and slaughter.
“Jananendra never used such language in his life. He is a new minister and he has expressed his pain. We will make it stricter and the entire cabinet is with Jnanendra,” Eshwrappa said on Sunday.
The statements come a day after a video purportedly showed home minister Jnanendra screaming on phone accusing police of turning a blind eye on cow thieves and slaughter despite the ban by accepting bribes and then “sleeping like dogs”.
“We have brought in an anti-cow slaughter law and if the provisions of that are implemented that is more than enough. Why are they (police) closing their eyes? Do they have any connection with the cow-thieves?” Eshwarappa said.
“Him (Jnanendr) scolding is not about it being right or wrong. He doesn’t have to coax them (police). They (police) have to be aware. If this happened to their ageing mothers, would they have kept quiet?” Eshwarappa said.
He added that if this had happened to their ageing mothers, the choice of words could have been worse.
“Those who are transporting cattle are habitual offenders. Your officers know it well but they take bribes and then sleep like dogs. Your police need self-esteem,” Jnanendra is heard purportedly saying in the video, which has gone viral on the social media.
The BS Yediyurappa-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Karnataka introduced the bill, now an act, the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill-2020 and was subsequently passed in the legislative council in February.
The government had already promulgated the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance last year that widens existing provisions for punishment on killing of cattle. The bill also has a provision to safeguard those “acting in good faith” which activists fear would give rise to vigilantism.
The new laws penalise people who slaughter cattle below the age of 13-years with a jail term of 3-5 years and fines ranging from ₹50,000- ₹10 lakh.