Union minister says Congress government is not doing enough to check cattle smuggling and cow slaughter in the state.
New Delhi: Women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi, who is known for her commitment to animal welfare, has now taken her fight against illegal smuggling and slaughter of cows to poll-bound Karnataka.
Coming down heavily on alleged illegal cold storages of cow meat in Karnataka’s Belagavi, Gandhi Thursday called for strict action against defaulters. She also alleged that the ruling Congress party in the state is not doing enough to check what she called an “organised crime”.
“Not only is cattle smuggling thriving in Karnataka but also illegal slaughter of cows is rampant,” Gandhi told ThePrint. “This is happening under local patronage which is nurturing this organised crime.”
Gandhi was on a visit to Karnataka to address an orientation programme on family counselling centres and inaugurate a women and child healthcare hospital.
She claims the cold storage units have been allegedly procuring beef from illegal slaughterhouses in and around Belagavi, and the meat is processed at the units and then exported.
While Gandhi has instructed the police to take prompt action in this regard, her aide Gauri Maulekhi says there is complete inaction on the behalf of the state police.
Although she apprised the state home minister Ramalinga Reddy and his daughter Soumy Reddy, who is a former member of the Animal Welfare Board of India, she refused to take any action against the crime, Maulekhi said.
“They are obviously shielding them,” she added.
The corpses have now been sent for testing to ascertain whether it’s beef or not, she said.
However, in response to the allegations, home minister Reddy said, “Maneka Gandhi has worked for the welfare of animals for a long time now. She did call me and immediately I called the Belagavi police commissioner T. R. Suresh, and instructed to take action if there is any illegal slaughterhouse operating as she has mentioned.”
“They need to investigate it. If there is any illegal slaughterhouse, I will ensure that it will be stopped immediately. We will take action according to law,” Reddy told ThePrint.
With inputs from Rohini Swamy in Bengaluru