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Eid 2022: Many Find It Difficult to Offer Qurbani This Eid Due to Assam's New Cow Protection Law

Muslim leaders like Badruddin Ajmal have also urged people not to eat beef or butcher cows.

Chintu Das
Cow Market
Cow Market

Avoid sacrificing cows for the celebration, Lok Sabha member Badruddin Ajmal urged those celebrating Eid ul Adha in Assam this year.

Ajmal, the leader of the political party and socio-religious organization Jamiat Ulama in Assam, declared that since the majority of people have strong feelings toward cows, sacrificing an alternate animal is acceptable.

The Assam Cattle Preservation Act, passed in August of last year, is what sparked Ajmal's remarks. Although eating beef is not prohibited in Assam, the new regulation makes it very difficult. It imposes rigorous limitations on the trade-in cattle as well as a total ban on the slaughter of cows.

For the first time, cows may not be used in Qurbani, the Eid ritual sacrifice. However, many Muslims in Assam's lower and middle classes traditionally sacrifice cows during Eid. They might not be able to afford Qurbani this year as a result of the new law.

Sofia Rahman, a 28-year-old farmer in Hatipota village in Lower Assam's Dhubri district, claimed that "cows are economically viable for the middle class and poor people like us." "Seven individuals used to sacrifice one cow in the past. It reduced expenses and made sharing possible for all.

The rural economy has been severely impacted by the cattle protection law. Traders of cattle who depend on the increase in sales before Eid are facing significant losses.

How are Farmers Impacted?

The economic effects of the law are also having a disastrous effect on farmers and cattle traders in other regions of the state.

One of the biggest cow markets in the state of Assam is located in the Golaghat district's Behora Cow Market. The number of sales has decreased, but farmers that raise cattle are also having trouble getting a fair price.

According to Zumma Khan, a market official, "The farmers who sell the cows have been badly affected as the law drives down the price of the cattle." "Farmers are now selling cows for Rs 15,000 instead of the original Rs 40,000 asking price. The buyers claim that the new law's limitations prevent them from paying the correct price. According to Khan, only the middlemen who reportedly sold livestock for high rates were profiting.

Approximately 2,000 cows were sold each day at the market before the law's passage, according to Khan. Only 200 cows are being sold right now, he continued. Because cows are the most desired animal for Qurbani in Assam and because Eid is the busiest time of year for cattle traders, the limits on cow slaughter for Qurbani worsen the situation for farmers.

While Assamese farmers find it difficult to sell their cows, the new rule restricts the movement of cattle across states, which has caused a shortage of meat in the neighboring states of Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland. These states with a Christian majority consume a lot of beef.

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