According to sources,Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat has returned The Gujarat Cattle Control (Keeping and Moving) in Urban Areas Bill, 2022 to the state government.
“The Bill has been returned to the government by the Governor for reconsideration,” said an official.
The move comes after members of the Maldhari community (pastoral community) held a mahapanchayat on Sunday, demanding that the Bill be repealed, and deciding to stop milk supply on September 21 as a protest. Since the state legislature passed the Bill on March 31, this year, the community has been agitated.
The Bill from the urban development department not only aims to restrict cattle movement in urban areas, but it also includes clauses that propose to imprison defaulters for up to five years and fine them Rs 5 lakh.
Ahead of the two-day Gujarat Assembly session that is to commence on September 21, the Congress party on Monday said they will force the state government to withdraw the Bill. Shailesh Parmar, Congress leader and Deputy leader of Opposition in the state legislature, said that 28 BJP MLAs spoke in favour of the Bill that was passed even as Congress MLAs opposed it.
After it was passed in state legislature, the state government in April 2022, had put the Bill in abeyance “till the concerns were addressed”.
Cattle movements were to be licenced, regulated, and prohibited in eight municipal corporations and 162 municipalities, according to the proposed Bill. Once the law is in effect, no one will be able to keep cattle in cities without a permit. This includes, among other things, cows, buffaloes, goats, sheep, and donkeys.