Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi on Saturday said that the state government will introduce a cow protection bill in the next Assembly session, reported PTI.

“The proposed bill envisages imposition of complete ban on transport of cattle outside the state,” Mukhi said at the inaugural session of the 15th Assam Legislative Assembly.

The governor said that the state government will adopt a zero-tolerance policy for the protection of the animal and also impose stringent punishment for those found transporting it outside Assam. “Once passed, Assam will join other states which have passed similar bills,” he said.

Various Bharatiya Janata party ruled states such as Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka have passed similar bills aimed at preventing cow slaughter.

The BJP had retained power in the state in the recently-concluded Assembly elections. Party leader Himanta Biswa Sarma was elected as the chief minister.

On Saturday, Mukhi also said the Sarma-led government was committed to recovering the lands of the satras (Vaishnav monasteries) and places of worship from illegal encroachments, reported The Hindu.

“My government will remain committed to strengthening the namghars [prayer halls] and protecting the rights of the satras,” he said. “A task force will be constituted to recover the lands of the satras and places of worship from illegal encroachments. We will also continue to strengthen the satras by providing them grants-in-aid.”

The alleged encroachment of the land belonging to the satras was a major election plank of the BJP-led coalition during the polls, according to The Hindu.

The previous government led by Sarbananda Sonowal had spent a lot of money on the monasteries besides giving a grant of Rs 2.5 lakh each to the 8,756 community prayer halls.