A court in the western Indian state of Gujarat has handed a six-month jail sentence to a man for letting his cattle stray on the streets.
Prakash Jairam Desai was found guilty of letting them loose and endangering people’s lives.
Gujarat is among several Indian states facing an increasing problem of stray cattle on its streets.
The court said the punishment was imposed to serve justice since such offences are on the rise.
Cows are sacred animals for India’s majority Hindu community, and slaughtering them is illegal in 18 states, including Gujarat.
In 2017, Gujarat tightened its cow protection laws by notifying that those slaughtering a cow could be punished with a life sentence.
An unintended consequence of that decision has been a large number of cattle roaming the streets, causing traffic snarls, attacking people or landing up at charitable cattle shelters.
In its order, the court said that because of owners leaving stray cattle on the roads, people had been killed and suffered…