ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Cow Slaughter Laws as State-sanctioned Violence

The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2020 is the most recent attempt of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the state to make for harsh cow slaughter laws, which have been used in the past to disproportionately target Dalits and Muslims across the country. The bill is poorly drafted and offends notions of rule of law and procedural justice, raising questions on whether it is even intended to be applied as a law or is just a tool of state-sanctioned violence.


The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2020 was passed by the legislative assembly of the state on 9 December 2020 with no debate (Mohammed 2020). It is required to be passed by the Karnataka Legislative Council as well before it becomes law, but could find passage tough since the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) does not enjoy a majority there and both the major opposition parties, the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) have indicated their strong opposition to the bill (Joshi 2020). As of going to press, the bill has yet to be tabled in the council as fights broke out between the councillors over a no-confidence motion against the chairperson of the council (Sastry 2020).

This is the second time that a BJP-led government in Karnataka has attempted to introduce harsh cow slaughter laws in the state. The previous attempts, with the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2010 and Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 2012 did not succeed as the bills were not passed but withdrawn by the subsequent Congress government in the state (Kumar 2014).

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Updated On : 21st Dec, 2020


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