RPI Threatens Agitation If Bull Slaughter Ban Is Not Revoked

RPI Threatens Agitation If Bull Slaughter Ban Is Not Revoked

Ramdas Athawale, Dalit leader and chief of RPI, an ally of the ruling BJP, today said his party would launch an agitation if the Maharashtra government did not revoke the controversial ban on bull slaughter, calling it a blunder.

"Everybody supports the ban on cow slaughter which is in place for the last many years. But it was during (Shiv Sena leader) Manohar Joshi's term as the Chief Minister in 1995 that this bill to extend the ban to other animals was sent to the President for approval. It was pending with the President's office ever since," Athawale said.

The bill received President's assent recently.

"The government needs to understand that it can not impose decisions on people. This ban will render 25 lakh people jobless and add to farmers' woes who will now not be able to sell the cattle which is of no use," he said.

The law would have serious economic consequences, he said.

"I will meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and explain to him the consequences. If the government still does not reconsider, we will start a state-wide agitation from May 19. It will become more and more intense until the government agrees to look at this issue pragmatically," he said.

He added the government could have instead banned the slaughter of buffaloes, whose milk fetches the highest price in the market.

"We cannot let the government do whatever it wants to do. Though we support the BJP-led government, we will protest against all the decisions that are not in people's interests," Athawale said.

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