Saturday, June 22, 2024

“It is forbidden in Mahabharata, Manusmriti. Union must ban cow slaughter”: Allahabad HC

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court has said that the Union government should take an appropriate decision to ban cow slaughter and declare it as a ‘protected national animal’.

The court dismissed a plea seeking the quashing of criminal proceedings against a Muslim man under the Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955.

“We live in a secular country and must have respect for all religions. In Hinduism, the belief is that the cow is the representative of divine and natural beneficence. Therefore, it should be protected and venerated,” IANS news agency quoted Justice Shamim Ahmad as saying.

Mohammad Abdul Khaliq, the petitioner, had pleaded that the police booked him without any evidence and hence the proceedings pending against him in the court of the additional chief judicial magistrate should be quashed.

The judge said: “The cow has also been associated with various deities, notably Lord Shiva (whose steed is Nandi, a bull) Lord Indra (closely associated with Kamadhenu), Lord Krishna (a shepherd in his youth), and goddesses in general… According to legend, she emerged from the ocean of milk at the time of Samudramanthan (the churning of the ocean by the gods and demons). She was presented to the seven sages and with time came into the custody of sage Vasishta.”

Recently in January, an order from a court in Gujarat from last year was made public, in which Tapi district sessions judge Samir Vyas made several claims about cows and cow dung and urine with no scientific basis. The court sentenced a Muslim man to life in a “cow smuggling case.”

Allahabad HC judge Justice Shamim Ahmad also said that a cow’s legs symbolise the four Vedas and her milk is four ‘purushartha’ (or human objectives — ‘dharma’ or righteousness, ‘artha’ or material wealth, ‘kama’ or desire and ‘moksha’ or salvation). He said: “Her horns symbolise the gods, her face the sun and moon, and her shoulders ‘Agni’ (the god of fire).”

“The slaughter of milk-producing cows was increasingly prohibited. It is forbidden in the Mahabharata, and in the Manusmriti. A cow which produces milk was said to be ‘unslayable’ in the Rig Veda,” he said.

“Anyone who kills cows or allows others to kill them is deemed to rot in hell for as many years as there are hairs upon his body,” the Allahabad HC judge said, news agency reported.

Cow protection is one of the violent campaigns led by Hindu right-wing organisations in India such as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Over a hundred of Muslims were killed in more than two hundred cases of cow-related violence reported across India between 2012 and 2022.

This year, February alone witnessed dozens of attack against Muslim men by so-called cow vigilante groups by Hindutva organisations. At least three Muslim men were brutally murdered in Haryana by cow protection groups in February.

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