In what is reportedly a first, the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh has invoked the stringent National Security Act (NSA) on three persons arrested for cow slaughter in the state.
As per reports, three days ago, the police in Khandwa received information that some people have slaughtered cows in the Moghat area on January 31. Upon reaching the spot, a police team found evidence f the slaughter and began an investigation. A day later, two of the suspects, Nadeem and Shakil were arrested from the Kharkali village nearby.
On 3rd February, the third suspect, Azam was arrested too. Later, the police reportedly found that Nadeem was a repeat offender and he has been arrested on charges of cow slaughter earlier too.
As per reports, the cows slaughtered by the three culprits were obtained through smuggling.
Though the three accused were initially booked under the sections 4,6 and 9 of the Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act, upon the recommendation of the SP, the district collector has sanctioned charges under the NSA. It is alleged that the locality where the slaughter was performed is a communally sensitive area and the act of cow slaughter could have threatened communal harmony there.
As per a report in The Times of India, the last time NSA was invoked for cow slaughter, it was under the BJP government when Anwar Mev, the vice-president of the BJP’s minority cell was found guilty of cow slaughter and was booked under NSA with nine others. He was also expelled from the party.
Earlier, the Yogi Adityanath government had also ordered to invoke the NSA and the Gangster Act on persons guilty of cattle smuggling, illegal transportation of smuggled cattle and slaughter in all the districts of the state.
It is notable here that the BJP government under Shivraj Chouhan had brought amendments to the Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act in 2010 adding provisions for stricter punishment and making it more stringent. It had become law in Madhya Pradesh in 2012 after approval from the president.