Udupi, Dec 2 (IANS): The Congress on Thursday denounced Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister K.S. Eshwarappa's statement that those who slaughter cows will be "trapped and crucified".
U.T. Khader, former minister and Congress MLA, told IANS that no one is against taking action on illegal transportation of cattle. "We are also against it. But, such crimes cannot take place without the support of the ruling government. These incidents are witnessing a rise after the BJP came to power. In spite of law, the government is not able to control it."
"Why is Eshwarappa blaming police officers and issuing emotional statements? The BJP is ruling at the Centre as well as the state. There are 16 beef export companies operating in the north Karnataka region. If he is so concerned, let him cancel their licenses," he challenged.
Lavanya Ballal, AICC spokesperson and social media coordinator, accused Eshwarappa of issuing "cheap and provoking" statements. In Karnataka, there is an Animal Slaughter Bill and amendments have been made. Besides, there is a provision for sending aged cows to slaughter houses, she said.
"We have to ask Eshwarappa whether he is targeting non-vegetarians. He is an elected representative and he can't issue anti-constitutional statements. What he has to say about animal sacrifices at Shakti Peethas (religious centres)," she asked.
Eshwarappa allegedly made the statement on Wednesday night when he was interacting with reporters after visiting gaurakshaks (cow vigilantes) of the Bajrang Dal at a hospital. They were undergoing treatment for injuries suffered while trying to prevent cows from being illegally transported.
Eshwarappa stated, "We have brought a legislation to instil fear among killers of cows. The legislation is more than enough to deal with the issue. But, the police department has to take strict action in this regard."
"We will encourage and empower police to take action against illegal cow slaughtering. If there is any drawback in the legislation, we will make it more powerful. BJP workers worship cows," he said.
"I am paying a visit to the hospital amid a tight schedule. Two accused have been arrested for attacking gaurakshaks. Nineteen cows have been rescued in the operation. If illegal transportation, slaughtering of cows continue, we will crucify them," he warned.
"I am unhappy with the police for not initiating stern action in this regard. They fear for their families' safety. Illegal cow slaughtering has not stopped despite the BJP ruling the state. I am upset. We will ensure an end to cow slaughter completely in the state. We will trap those who slaughter cows and crucify them," he said.
"The doctors have stated that all the injured are out of danger. Our organisation (RSS) and government will come to their aid. We will ensure that the injureds' families do not spend a penny on their treatment," he said.
The incident took place in Thirthahalli in Shivamogga district on November 30. Two brothers, Kiran (23) and Charan (24), working as labourers and Bajrang Dal activists spotted a truck transporting cows illegally and followed it.
In a bid to escape, the truck driver tried to run them over and in the process, dragged the two for a long distance injuring them badly.