Residents and tourists in the megapolis of Mumbai now will have to do without their hamburgers and beef steak as the state of Maharashtra has banned the possession and sale of the meat.
A law passed by the legislature in 1995 has now received the presidential assent and has become effective. Anyone found selling beef or being in possession of it can be jailed for five years and fined Rs. 10,000.
The prohibition has come into force almost two decades after the BJP-Shiv Sena government in the state in 1995 passed the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 1995. The BJP, now in power at the centre, is in favour of a nation-wide ban on cow slaughter as the animal is revered by Hindus. Currently a ban exists in some states.
While a 1976 law prevented the slaughter of cows in Maharashtra, The Indian Express reported that the new Act will ban the slaughter of bulls as well as bullocks. But the new law allows for the slaughter of water buffaloes, which provides inferior quality carabeef that makes up only 25 percent of the total beef market in the state.