The Congress-led Madhya Pradesh government has approved a proposal to amend the cow protection law and award jail terms ranging from six months to five years to those who indulge in violence in the name of cow vigilantism.
The proposal to amend the MP Cow Progeny Slaughter Prevention Act, 2004, was cleared at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday, a source said.
State Animal Husbandry Minister Lakhan Singh Yadav also confirmed that the proposal to amend the cow slaughter prevention law has been cleared.
The state government is likely to introduce the proposed amendment to the cow protection law before the state Assembly during its monsoon session beginning July 8.
If the amendment is cleared by the Assembly, those who indulge in violence in the name of cow vigilantism would face a jail term of six months to three years and attract a fine of Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 or both, the source said.
The punishment will be extended to a minimum of one-year and maximum five years in case a mob is involved in such violence, he said.
Besides, the proposed amendment also seeks to double the punishment for repeat offenders, the source said.
It also seeks to punish those who abet such violence with an imprisonment of one year to three years, he said, adding that people who damage property will also be punished.
The development to tweak the 2004 law, cleared during the previous BJP government, has come following the thrashing of a Muslim man and a woman on suspicion of carrying beef in MP's Seoni district last month.