Shillong, Jul 20: The Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) on Tuesday has sought the intervention of the Meghalaya government with regards to the Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021 and to take necessary steps to uplift cattle production in the State, where beef is commonly consumed.
According to the HYC, Section 7 of the above-mentioned Bill is in contravention of the Indian Constitution as “Inter State Trade and Commerce” falls under List 42 of the Union List of the Seventh Scheduled to the Constitution of India and no State in India have the authority to regulate inter-state trade and commerce except by the rule of law passed by the Indian Parliament.
The HYC said that this provision also affects the federal power of the state of Meghalaya which is serious in nature.
“The fact that even transportation of buffaloes is regulated by Assam as stated in the Bill above it is implied that the spirit of the Bill goes beyond appealing the religious sentiments of the Hindus in the State of Assam and if this kind of Policy by 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 affects the livelihood and economy of the State as Assam is the only gateway to Meghalaya,” the HYC stated in the letter to Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong.
In the letter to Tynsong the HYC stated that it fully agrees that no cattle should be illegally sold to Bangladesh as it is difficult to even meet the domestic requirements.
But, the pressure groups pointed out that the 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 and 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 habit and the economy of the state as a whole,” he added.
The HYC pointed out that the state procures cattle from many other parts of India like West Bengal, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and these are transported to Meghalaya through Assam.
“With the enactment of this legislation, movement of cattle will be affected and cause lots of inconvenience to traders or persons transporting cattle to our state via Assam. There is also a high possibility that several religious based organisations or some fringe groups will unnecessarily disturb and restrict movement of vehicles transporting the cattles through Assam into the state,” the HYC said.
The HYC also stated that this restriction will also affect the livelihood opportunities of the people of the state, whether directly or indirectly involved in selling and making by-products of beef or having shops dealing with beef meat.