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Maharashtra Bans Beef; 5 Year Jail Term For Sale Or Possession

A woman worships a cow as Indian Hindus offer prayers to the River Ganges, holy to them during the Ganga Dussehra festival in Allahabad, India, Sunday, June 8, 2014. Allahabad on the confluence of rivers the Ganges and the Yamuna is one of Hinduism’s holiest centers. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
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A woman worships a cow as Indian Hindus offer prayers to the River Ganges, holy to them during the Ganga Dussehra festival in Allahabad, India, Sunday, June 8, 2014. Allahabad on the confluence of rivers the Ganges and the Yamuna is one of Hinduism’s holiest centers. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

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.

On Monday night, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis thanked President Pranab Mukherjee for giving his assent to ban beef in Maharashtra.

Thanks a lot Hon President Sir for the assent on MaharashtraAnimalPreservationBill.Our dream of ban on cow slaughter becomes a reality now.

— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) March 2, 2015

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.

Beef traders told The Indian Express that the ban will render thousands unemployed, and drive up the costs of other meats in the state.

The beef ban has outraged many on Twitter, who consider it an infringement on personal dietary choice.

So now in Maharashtra you can have a beef with someone but you can't have beef with someone.

— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) March 3, 2015

I don't think you should stop at banning beef, Maharashtra. I think you should actually let cows run the state.

— samit basu (@samitbasu) March 3, 2015<

To those who say "I'm Hindu, this is my country, we're in the majority, why can't we ban beef?"

https://t.co/z55yvQuGg2

— Mahesh Murthy (@maheshmurthy) March 3, 2015

To those who say "I'm Hindu, this is my country, we're in the majority, why can't we ban beef?"

https://t.co/z55yvQuGg2

— Mahesh Murthy (@maheshmurthy) March 3, 2015

Now instead of buying beef, people in Maharashtra would be 'scoring' beef :)

— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) March 3, 2015

Devendra Fadnavis: I have a dream. Of a beef-free Maharashtra. Dr Martin Luther King Jr.: Dream bigger.

— RushdieExplainsIndia (@RushdieExplains) March 3, 2015

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This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost India, which closed in 2020. Some features are no longer enabled. If you have questions or concerns about this article, please contact indiasupport@huffpost.com.