Just months after Haryana enacted a law that mandates up to 10 years imprisonment for cow slaughter, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar reportedly proposed issuing licences for foreigners to eat beef in the state. The Times of India reported that the move came ahead of a three-day summit, Happening Haryana, which will be attended by large foreign delegations in Gurgaon between March 6 and March 8. However, after Khattar was reported as saying he was open to issuing beef licences, his team claimed he had been misinterpreted, India Today said.

Jawahar Yadav, officer on special duty to the chief minister, said Khattar was addressing a query on allowing beef licences to hotels when he made the remarks. Abhimanyu Sindhu, minister of industries, said any relaxation in the beef ban would have to be in accordance with the law or be given under special provisions. The state’s beef legislation also includes those who export cows for slaughter, and mandates imprisonment up to seven years and a fine of up to Rs 70,000 for violators of the law.