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Rajasthan High Court asks Centre to declare cow as national animal

In a recommendation to the Centre on Wednesday, the Rajasthan High Court said the cow should be declared as a national animal. The court also asked the Centre to increase the length of punishment for cow slaughter to life imprisonment. It appointed the state chief secretary and Advocate General to take up the matter with the Centre.

 The punishment for cow slaughter varies from state to state. In Rajasthan, those found guilty of cow slaughter can be sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. A fine of upto Rs 10,000 can also be imposed. Slaughter of “cow, calf, heifer, bull or bullock” is prohibited in the state, including possession and transport of their flesh.Last week, the Tamil Nadu High Court stayed the Centre’s decision to ban the sale and purchase of animals for slaughter at cattle markets for four weeks. The new cattle regulation was met with strong criticism as people in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal publicly protesting against it. Beef fests were organised by political outfits, where beef was cooked and distributed freely among locals.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to withdraw the ban. He said thousands of lives would be affected due to the new rules. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the state government would challenge the Centre’s decision in court. DMK’s working president M K Stalin led a protest against the ban on Wednesday in Chennai.

On Tuesday, a group of eight students allegedly attacked a PhD scholar studying in IIT-Madras for attending a beef fest held inside the campus. The student, identified as Sooraj, was allegedly attacked in the varsity. The attacker were reportedly led by another student, who is an ABVP sympathiser.

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