Stray cattle menace: Gujarat HC seeks report on action taken to control it
Former deputy chief minister Nitin Patel was injured when a stray cow attacked a BJP tricolour march in Mehsana this month
The Gujarat high court has directed the state government to submit a report in seven days on the action eight municipal corporations and 156 municipalities have taken to control the stray cattle menace. It pulled up the Ahmedabad civic body for not doing enough to resolve the issue and questioned why the government has not come up with stringent rules to curb the menace.
The court on Monday directed the government to place before it the Gujarat Cattle Control (Keeping and Moving) in Urban Areas Bill passed on March 31 in the state assembly and listed the matter for further hearing on September 5.
The proposed law provides for licence to own cattle in urban areas, imprisonment of up to one year for owners in case of violations, mandatory registration, and tagging of animals in municipal areas.
The bill was put on hold after a pastoralist community opposed it and threatened to disrupt milk supplies across the state if it was not repealed. Even some ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders have said there were enough provisions in the Gujarat Municipalities Act to curb the menace.
The government told the high court that there are 52,062 stray cattle in Gujarat and 33,806 of them have been impounded as of August 28.
Senior advocate Asim Pandya, who is assisting the court in the matter, informed a division bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar that civic officials and police personnel have been attacked for impounding cattle. He added an owner should be booked for “culpable homicide not amounting to murder” if a person dies in the cattle attack.
The bench, which was hearing a contempt petition and pleas related to the menace, told the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation that effective work was needed and that “mere shedding of tears will not suffice”.
Former deputy chief minister Nitin Patel was injured when a stray cow attacked a BJP tricolour march in Mehsana this month.