Kaziranga cattle drive
Representational image

Guwahati: The Assam Cattle Preservation Act, 2021, was amended in the assembly on Thursday, empowering the police to enter the house of an accused and inspect, search and seize properties acquired in the last six years with money earned from illegal cattle trade.

Amid a heated debate during the passage of The Assam Cattle Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 2021, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said he wants to convey the message that Assam is a “tough state” while dealing with unlawful cattle trade.

Though opposition members had brought in several amendments to the bill, introduced on December 20, the suggestions were withdrawn after Sarma spoke, except those of Independent MLA Akhil Gogoi, who stuck to his stand that the entire Act is “unconstitutional and communal” in nature.

On August 13, the assembly had passed The Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021, banning cattle slaughter and sale of beef in areas where Hindus, Jains and Sikhs are in a majority or within a five-kilometre radius of a temple or satra (Vaishnavite monasteries) or any other institution as maybe prescribed by authorities.

A new section has now been inserted in the Act that empowers an investigating officer to enter, inspect, search, seize and detain an accused and his/her movable or immovable properties accumulated in the previous six years with the income from illegal cattle trade.

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