Nashik: In the first case registered under the new beef ban law in Maharashtra, three persons have been booked for allegedly slaughtering calves in Malegaon town of the district and search is on to trace them.
Acting on a tip-off, police raided a shack in Azad Nagar area, about 90 kms from here, and seized two heads of slaughtered calves and 150 kg of beef, assistant police inspector Shivaji Bantewad said today.
The new Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, banning slaughter of bulls and bullocks, was enforced by the BJP-led Government on March 4.
Under the law, anyone found selling beef or possessing it can be jailed upto five years and fined Rs 10,000.
Offences have been registered against the accused-- Rashid alias Pandya, Hamid alias Lendi and Asif Talathi-- under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, the police officer said.
Samples of the beef were sent to Mumbai for laboratory tests while the rest of it had been disposed of, he said.
Search is on to nab the three absconding persons, he said adding that further investigation is on.
The beef ban has triggered protests from some political and cultural outfits, arguing that it amounted to encroachment of individual choices and food habits of a large section of people, especially minority communities.
However, state Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar had yesterday defended the enforcement of the law holding that during the national movement, Mahatma Gandhi backed total ban on cow slaughter and even veteran Congress leaders like Motilal Vora supported the cause.
"Congress leader Motilal Vora and Gandhian Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari had written to the state government seeking ban on cow slaughter. We liked the idea and accepted it," Mungantiwar said while replying to a two-day debate on state budget in the Assembly.