- Raman Singh has been Chhattisgarh chief minister since December, 2003
- This comes in the backdrop of crackdown against slaughterhouses in UP
- Gujarat cleared an amendment that gives life term for cow slaughter
A day after the Gujarat assembly cleared an amended law that gives life term for cow slaughter, Chhattisgarh's Chief Minister Raman Singh has gone a step further by saying "those who kill cows will be hanged".
"Have you ever heard of such a thing in Chhattisgarh in the past 15 years... those who kill cows will be hanged," Mr Singh retorted when asked by a reporter in Bastar whether a strict law will be framed against cow slaughter in the state.
Slaughter of cow, buffalo, bull, bullock, calf, and possession of their meat is banned in Chhattisgarh. Transport, export to other states for slaughter is also banned. These offences attract same punishment of seven years' jail and fine up to Rs 50,000.
The chief minister's statement comes in the backdrop of the recent crackdown against slaughter houses in Uttar Pradesh by the state government led by CM Yogi Adityanath.
Gujarat, where elections will be held later this year, amended the state's Animal Preservation Bill to entail a maximum punishment of life imprisonment for cow slaughter and 10 years for transporting cows.
In the current law, which was amended in 2011, the maximum jail term for cow slaughter was seven years. The new law also increases penalty from Rs. 1 lakh to 5 lakh.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, according to some news reports, said that while he was "not against any food", he wanted to make Gujarat "shakahari (vegetarian)".
The BJP is committed to protect "Gau (cow), Ganga and Gita", he declared earlier this month.
The slaughter and transport of cows was banned in Gujarat in 2011, when the state was ruled by Narendra Modi, now Prime Minister.