20:56 GMT17 April 2021
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    The slaughter of cows, considered a sacred animal by Hindus, has often led to communal tensions, with multiple instances of violence reported in several parts of India in recent years. Critics have attributed the intolerance against cow slaughter to the ideology of the governing Bharatiya Janata Party.

    The Indian government's proposal to impose a complete ban on the slaughter of cows as well as the selling and buying of beef in the island Union Territory of Lakshadweep, whose population has the highest percentage of Muslims (96%), has evoked sharp reactions on Twitter.

    Netizens are accusing the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government of imposing its ideology, which allegedly supports people belonging to the Hindu faith. The law in question, Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation 2021, proposes life imprisonment and a fine of up to $6,800 for any person found in violation of the rule, which prohibits even keeping or transporting beef and bans the slaughter of calves, bulls, and bullocks on the island, along with cows.

    The draft bill also gives authority to government officials to enter and inspect any premises. The government has put the proposed legislation in the public domain.


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