The Maharashtra government which enforced a blanket ban on cow slaughter in the state last year had recently reached out to the general public to make sure the move was effective. As part of the initiative the Maharashtra Department of Animal Husbandry invited the public to be the “eyes to monitor the beef ban”. And they received over 1,900 responses to be appointed as special animal welfare officers to help police and the animal husbandry department in implementing the amended Maharashtra Protection of Animals Act ,1995, The Indian Express reported. Even though it is mentioned as a honorary post, the selected volunteers will be responsible for making the police accountable to act on a complaint.
The applicants, all of them who have to be nominated by an animal welfare organisation, or a registered body, have been asked to file an affidavit stating that they are pursuing animal welfare as a social cause and are disassociating themselves from religious or political affiliations.
The move has however raised concerns over cow vigilantes getting a free hand to take law into their own hands.
There is so much activism in this field now and many-a-time untoward incidents also take place. This needs a serious consideration which will be done in the next meeting in August. We will make the final decision only in this meeting,â€ the committee member added.
The move also comes at a time when a large number of atrocities by cow vigilantes towards minority communities have been reported from across the country.