New Delhi: The Congress party on Monday suspended its Youth member who had participated in a ‘beef fest’ organised in Kerala to protest against the Centre’s ban on sale of cattle for slaughter.
Several youth groups of the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF and Congress-headed UDF opposition have organised these festivals to protest against the Centre’s recent decision to ban sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter, a move criticised by several states.
But Saturday’s slaughter seems to have backfired.
Police in Kannur in north Kerala on Sunday booked 16 Youth Congress activists who slaughtered a cow in public and cooked its meat and distributed it. They were charged under IPC Section 428 and section (ii) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.
Earlier Congress VP Rahul Gandhi and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor have condemned such act on Twitter .
Despite Congress’s efforts to distance itself from the incident, Makulti said he had no regrets. “We don’t regret our act. This was done as part of our protest,” he told a television channel on Sunday.
The central government’s notification has triggered a political storm in Kerala with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan shooting off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the ban amounted to an “intrusion” into the rights of the states.
“Absence of efforts to take the states into confidence on such a drastic move, with far reaching consequences, is detrimental to our democracy,” Vijayan said. “I am afraid it amounts to an intrusion into the rights of the state in our federal structure,” he added.
Beef being the primary source of protein for millions of the poor and ordinary people in the country, particularly Dalits and poor Muslims . Such restrictions being imposed on the eve of Ramzan, would certainly appear to certain communities in the country as a “direct attack on them,” Vijayan said.
The Centre has banned the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter, a move that is expected to hit export and trade of meat and leather. Demonstrations were held outside the secretariat in Thiruvanathapuram where the protesters cooked and distributed beef on the road side.
The UDF will observe ‘black day’ on Monday against the ban, opposition leader in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala said at Thrissur. Chennithala also wrote to Modi against the new law. UDF workers will wear black badges and take out protest marches, he said.