Chhattisgarh will join other BJP-ruled states, such as Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, to offer such a service

Ritesh Mishra
Hindustan Times, Raipur
The state also has tough rules against consumption of beef and slaughter of cows.
The state also has tough rules against consumption of beef and slaughter of cows.(HT file photo)

 The Chhattisgarh government will begin an ambulance service for cows, chief minister Raman Singh said, joining a number of BJP-ruled states to put a stronger focus on protection of the animal that is considered sacred by Hindus.

The service will be started in ten districts in the next few months, Singh said, addressing a programme organised by the state’s commission for protection of cows at Pandit Ravi Shankar University on Sunday.

Protecting cows and promoting products derived from them has been in focus since the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party with the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi three years ago, at times being seen as a factor that has emboldened vigilante ‘gau rakshaks’ who have killed and attacked people.

The Uttar Pradesh government announced a similar service, as did a particular district in Madhya Pradesh over the last year.

Raman Singh did not elaborate on how much the scheme will cost.

On Sunday, Singh urged people to use panchagavya — a concoction prepared by mixing constituents derived directly and indirectly from cows such as dung, urine, milk, curd and ghee — and help promote the cow-based economy.

“Organic farming and biogas can help promote a cow-based economy,” Singh said.

Singh had in April said that anyone found killing cows in Chhattisgarh will be hanged, suggesting a radical shift in plans to protect the bovine.

Under the Chhattisgarh Pashu Krurata Adhiniyam, cow slaughter and transporting beef is banned. Anyone found guilty faces up to seven years in jail and a fine of Rs 50,000 or both.