NEW DELHI: India’s farmers, through consistent protest and struggle, have finally got the central government to seriously contemplate the withdrawal of its notification banning the sale of cattle for slaughter. A date has reportedly not been fixed, but government sources informed the media that this notification issued by the Ministry of Environment will now be withdrawn.

This comes after 30 persons, including two dairy farmers, were killed in different parts of the country--- Pehlu Khan of Nuh district in Haryana and Umar Khan of Bharatpur district in Rajasthan- by so called cow vigilantes. As the All India Kisan Sabha, recording the victory of the farmers on this issue, said today, the government has used this ban to communalise and divide the country. The farmers organisation has attacked the “he hidden agenda of the Central Government led by RSS-BJP combine to communalize the civil society by dividing the people based on their differences in faith, food habits and traditions.”

The Kisan Sabha had filed a PIL in the Supreme Court which extended its stay on the notification to cover the entire country. Farmers in ongoing protests burnt copies of the notification, as at least 30 per cent of the peasantry had been adversely impacted by this cattle sale ban, being dependent on dairy farming. As AIKS General Secretary Hanan Mollah pointed out, this decision did not take the farmer's into account and added to agrarian distress all over India. The cattle that could not be disposed of was starving according to reports, with the so called cow shelter owners complaining of a severe shortage of funds from the government to look after the dying cattle.

Mollah said that now it was imperative for the Central Government to strictly direct all State Governments to “reopen and ensure free operations of cattle markets and safe transportation of cattle”. He said as per the demand of the farmers, the BJP led state governments that had enacted this ban should now ensure that they revoked this to purchase unproductive cattle from the farmers at the market price;

-two, ensured that stray cattle were housed in shelters so that they did not damage crops;

- three, take stringent action against criminal gangs still operating in the name of gaurakshaks;

-and four, pay Rs one crore to each of the families whose members had been lynched by these mobs.

Dairy farmers from different parts of the country were reporting gangway ‘robbery’ by these gangs who stopped vehicles transporting cattle demanding a bribe to let these proceed. As The Citizen had reported many were carrying gaurakshak cards claiming that these had been issued by the specific state government.

The Kisan Sabha in a statement today congratulated “ all the progressive forces in Parliament, Judiciary, Executive and Media who relentlessly stood for fighting the communal mindset behind the cattle ban notification and pressurized the Central Government to withdraw the same.”

This is a major victory for the farmers and others who have taken to the streets protesting against the lynchings of innocent persons, although till date justice has not been done in most of these cases, with the accused either on bail or at large. AIKS acknowledging this said in the statement, “ the Prime Minister never took a firm stand against this cruelty and ensure that all the culprits were booked and punished as per the law of the land. Rather the killers were protected and even honored with employment in Public Sector Units as in the case of murder of Muhmmed Akhlak in Dadri. The Muslims and Dalits were attacked by criminal gangs under the rule of Modi. The people conceive that under the Modi Raj, RSS Shakhas rule the country. Such a ‘State sponsored lawlessness’ never happened in this country.”