The havoc created by cow vigilantes is proving to be nerve wracking for the entire country. Where menial workers, like drivers who transport meat, have become an easy target for violence and ruthless killing, the general public is now scared of even saying the word “beef” in public spaces. Amidst the chaos, the protectors of law and order are struggling to strike a balance.
In a bid to exercise control, Maharashtra police have ordered cow meat detectors. The killing of cows and calves are prohibited in the state under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, 1976. As the violence in the name of cow-protection has reached a new level, the state police have come up with these kits to smoothen the process.
The forensic science laboratories of the state get at least 100 meat samples to test for being cow meat every month which takes a lot of time. The police would seize a number of vehicles on complaints every day but the process to find out the nature of meat takes time in the laboratory.
SP Yadav, Director General (legal and technical), Maharashtra police informs DNA,
When beef is seized from the suspect, it is a perishable item and the quantity is very heavy. Once it is tested and found to be buffalo meat, the person is at a great loss for no fault.
Described as an “authentic test” by the DG, Maharashtra, this specialized kit is set to give results within 30 minutes. These tests will be operational from this month in 45 mobile forensic support vehicles to be deployed across Maharashtra. Cops will be trained on how to use the kit.
As bullock and buffalo meat seems alike, the kit with ELISA test will help find out if the proteins exclusive to cow meat are present in the sample. The Directorate of Forensic Science Laboratory, KV Kulkarni explained,
The ELISA test will identify the proteins in cow meat and help dispose off many samples on the spot. Those testing positive in the screening will be sent to our laboratories for confirmation through DNA testing.
The kit costs around Rs. 8,000 and will enable to test up to 100 samples. At present, the DNA testing demands 3 days time as the facilities are available only in the Pune, Mumbai, and Nagpur forensic science laboratories. New facilities are opening at the Aurangabad and Nashik labs.