Voicing The Pain Of The Voiceless

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Dhyan Foundation (aided by PFA) held a Peaceful Car March on 7th April, to highlight the blatant flouting of laws in Haryana and Delhi where sale of beef and slaughter of cow and its progeny is banned and to urge the government to take action to save the starving cattle in drought-struck Kollegal, Karnataka.

The rally which saw scores of people from all walks of life, students, journalists, teachers, lawyers, activists, volunteers, top businessmen rallied the State houses of Haryana & Karnataka. It was concluded at Lawrence Road, where recently animal activists spotted cow carcasses (confirmed by government lab) in a truck in Keshav Puram area. The material was being delivered at M/S Jagdish Cold Storage which on paper atleast is a fruits and vegetable storage. Further probing led to discovery of calf carcasses in Jagdish Cold Storage and two more illegal slaughterhouses adjacent to it, on Lawrence Road, in the heart of New Delhi. Even after confirmation by a Government Lab of Cow Meat found in Lawrence Road cold storages, police was slow in action, giving the factory owners ample time to clean up, despite repeated calls from activists. It is just one of the evidence that cows are being slaughtered and exported.

Similarly, activists have reported dozens of cases of camel trafficking and innumerable incidences of cattle slaughter and trafficking in Mewat, Haryana. However, no concrete action is taken despite glaring evidence and laws to protect. “It is an uphill task to register an FIR and even in the cases where FIR is lodged, police is slow in action. Some police and administrative officers are of great help; they go out of their way but majority turn a deaf ear, for reasons that are anybody’s guess. Trans-border cattle trafficking for slaughter is a $500 million trade annually, the stakes are high for the criminals, who are often linked with terrorist movements, fake currency trade, arms smuggling and other anti-national activities,” shares Sonia Sharma, an animal activist.

Activists have been openly threatened, physically assaulted and even been attacked by weapons, often right under the nose of authorities. The administration is slow in action and criminals are at large. “Certain people taking law of the land in their hands in the name of animal protection is wrong, we obviously do not endorse violence but please look at cases of attacks on genuine activists also, they will far outnumber them. Think of those calves who are snatched from their mothers and throats slit after being kept hungry for days, how can we be silent? We are humans. Some people react in violence, let us not forget that the revolt of 1857, which was the first war of independence of India, was triggered by cow meat only. Back then it united Hindus and Muslims to fight the common enemy, today it is being made a vote bank issue to encourage a specific community…even Islam doesn’t support animal killing. Noted hadith scholars maintain meat of cow is disease, and should not be taken. It is the political community which is doing violence,” shared Nikita Anand, the spokesperson for Dhyan Foundation.                  

Among other things, Dhyan Foundation has set up temporary and permanent fodder points in various locations in Kollegal Karnataka including MS Doddi (Kuratihosur), Kallidoddi, Gaanigamangala, Odakehalla & Kumbudukki (MM Hills) as an emergency measure to help the drought-struck cattle in absence of adequate relief operations by government.

“It is the responsibility of the State to take care of its animals but since the beginning March 2017, little has been done. Cattle carcasses can be found all across Kollegal hills, with thousands having succumbed to their deaths and others waiting in line. We are doing what we can but our resources are limited. We therefore request the Government of Karnataka to take into account the urgency of the situation and expedite distribution as well and release funds for future expenses in a time bound manner,” expresses Shivani Sharma, who has been on-ground feeding the Kollegal cows.

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