BJP member held under anti-cow slaughter law in Madhya Pradesh
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In an embarrassment for the ruling BJP, one of its leaders who was till recently an active member of its cow protection cell, has been booked under a legislation that prohibits cow slaughter.
Former district convener of BJP's cow cell Vipin Bilauha, who lives in Katni's Gayatrinagar area, and his two accomplices, M L Jain and Kandhi Yadav, have been charged under sections 4, 6, and 9 of the MP Prohibition of Slaughter of Cow-progeny Act.
Bilauha, a Bajrang Dal activist, and the two accomplices were transporting over 150 cows and calves for slaughter from Badagaon to Ganiyari when they were stopped about 35 km from Katni.
Katni SP Rajesh Hingankar told The Indian Express that the trio had fled after abandoning the cattle and were likely to be arrested soon. He said they were involved in facilitating illegal transport of cattle across borders.
Not so long ago, Bilauha and other Bajrang Dal members used to regularly raid vehicles to check if they were carrying cattle meant for cow slaughter. There were complaints that they were involved in irregularities like charging money to allow passage of cows meant for slaughter. Bilauha had been removed from the post following such complaints.
Investigating Officer M P Patel said the police had been tipped by a current member of the cow protection cell about Bilauha's activities. The impounded cattle have been kept at a nearby village.
MP last year amended the legislation making cow slaughter punishable with a seven year jail term and shifting the burden of proof to the accused.
Though the law had been amended to plug loopholes exploited by the accused to make conviction difficult, there had been several complaints against right wing activists that they harassed cattle owners and raided even authorised vehicles. In fact, the idea behind the country's first cow sanctuary, whose foundation was laid in Shajapur district recently in the presence of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, was first mooted in 2008 to shelter cattle 'freed' after raids by right wing organisations.