Amid ongoing debate over demands to ban cow slaughter and rising incidents of cow vigilantism, Hansraj G Ahir, Minister of State (Home), has said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is mulling over the option of setting up “cow sanctuaries” and start a ‘Project Cow’ and on the lines of ‘Project Tiger’.

“We have been considering a proposal, and have been working on it for some days now… We need to stop cow slaughter, but the biggest stumbling block is who will take care of these cows… We need to make cow sanctuaries for this, and need to make arrangements for fodder also. Each state should have cow sanctuaries… Then we will be successful in stopping cow slaughter,” Ahir reportedly said.

The minister believes that cow sanctuaries will stop farmers from selling old cows. “A Project Cow, on the lines of Project Tiger, can be started… This can be an option,” said Ahir.

Ahir, who handles Jammu and Kashmir division in the ministry, said security forces have shown restraint while dealing with protesters in the Valley. Referring to the video of a man being tied to an Army jeep, he said it was a one-off incident.

However, he accepted that the situation in Kashmir is “not completely under control” and has assured that the Centre is making all efforts to improve the same.

“We do accept that the situation in Kashmir is not completely under control. We will continue doing our job,” he reportedly said. He also mentioned that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh were taking the issue very seriously.