The Madhya Pradesh cabinet Wednesday approved changes to a law that makes cow vigilantism a punishable offence. Manoj Shrivastava, principal secretary (animal husbandry), said the amendment to the Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act proposes a jail term ranging from one to five years and a fine of ~50,000 for anyone taking part in cow vigilantism. Currently, offences related to cow vigilantism are dealt under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). “The amendment has been made keeping in mind the Supreme Court order...telling states to act tough on cow vigilantism,” Shrivastava said.In July 2018, a Supreme Court bench headed by the then chief justice Dipak Misra had said, “horrendous acts of mobocracy” cannot be allowed to overrun the law of the land. It had directed Parliament to enact stern laws so as to provide “preventive, remedial and punitive measures” to deal with cow vigilantism and mob lynching.Shrivastava said that to ensure safety for cow transporters, the law has made it mandatory for them to take a sub-divisional magistrate’s permission.State animal husbandry minister Lakhan Singh Yadav said, most cattle transporters do not carry documents to show “whether the cow being transported is going for slaughter or for sale, and often end up being harassed or bashed up by gau rakshaks”. “The magistrate’s permission will be a legal paper that should satisfy the gau rakshaks,” Yadav added.Meanwhile, the state assembly also approved a proposal to provide 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker section (EWS) of the general category in jobs and education.