Shillong: Fearing that the Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021 may interfere with the livelihood, rearing and consumption of cattle in Meghalaya, the Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) on Tuesday demanded the state government to intervene and take necessary steps over the matter.
The pressure group on Tuesday met deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong, who is also the minister in-charge of animal husbandry and veterinary department, and submitted a memorandum in this regard.
According to HYC, Section 7 of the Bill is in contravention of the Indian Constitution. It said that “inter-state trade and commerce” falls under List 42 of the Union List of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India and no state in India has the authority to regulate it except by the rule of law passed by Indian Parliament.
“This provision also affects the federal power of the Meghalaya which is serious in nature. The fact that even transportation of buffaloes is regulated by Assam, as stated in the Bill, it is implied that the spirit of the Bill goes beyond appealing the religious sentiments of the Hindus in Assam. If this kind of policy by the neighbourhood state is allowed, it will have a far-reaching impact in the near future as Assam may also regulate and prohibit the supply of other food items and other goods to the state which will in turn greatly affect the livelihood and economy of the state. Assam is the only gateway to Meghalaya,” said HYC president Robertjune Kharjahrin.
The HYC said that it agrees that no cattle should be Illegally sold to Bangladesh and other neighbouring nations as it is difficult to even meet the domestic requirement.
They have expressed concern that Section 7 of the Bill puts a restriction on the movement of cattle from any place in India through Assam to be transported to any other state and it also restricts transportation of cattle to any state where slaughter is not regulated by such state.
“This provision is a cause for concern to the movement of beef, buffalo and cattle to our state even for agricultural purposes. As beef consumption is common in the state and, Assam being the gateway for transportation of goods to the state, such a legislation will have a far-sighted impact on the food habits and the economy of the state as a whole,” said Kharjahrin.
Meghalaya procures cattle from many other states in India like West Bengal, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and these are transported to the state through Assam.
HYC has also expressed concern that there is also a high possibility that several religious base organisations or some fringe groups will unnecessary disturb and restrict movement of vehicles transporting the cattle through Assam into the state.