Cattle slaughter ban: The West Bengal Cow Development Cell will organise a milk festival in Kolkata to show solidarity with the Centre’s notification banning the sale of cattle for slaughter at animal markets on May 6, according to Indian Express report. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has opposed the Narendra Modi government’s move and said that there is no need to follow it. Notably, Subrata Gupta, who is the president of West Bengal Cow Development Cell, is also a member of BJP’s state committee, according to IE report. The move is seen as a ploy counter the beef festival being organised at certain parts of the country. West Bengal capital Kolkata may witness another showdown between BJP and ruling Trinamool Congress.
The outfit will also protest in in front of slaughter houses in the state. Gupta told Indian Express, “On May 6, we will organise a milk festival in Kolkata. We will offer milk to people of all religions, castes and creeds, and create awareness regarding the health benefits of milk and the benefits of cows. We are also planning to hold similar fests in various districts as well.”
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The group will also distribute over 200 litres of milk during the fest. Apart from this, they will distrubute pamphlets highlighting the various benefits of cows, according to IE report. Gupta said that a lot of beef festivals are being held in different parts of India and CPM and Congress are behind these festivals. He underlined that their milk festival is a counter-protest. Cow is sacred, and there are so many benefits of cows, including milk. We will highlight them, said Gupta.
The organisers have approached the police for permission. They plan to hold the festival near Esplanade in Kolkata. “We will also write to Mamata Banerjee, asking her to stand by cow protection,” Gupta added.
CM Banerjee had slammed the Centre’s notification saying it was a deliberate attempt to encroach on the states’ rights and destroy the federal structure. She said that the holy month of Ramzan is on. Everybody has the right to observe religious festivals, the CM said, adding just like Durga Puja, Kali Puja and Christmas, Eid is also observed in our state.
CM Banerjee also directed the administration to ensure that there was no confusion regarding the issue. The TMC supremo told the officials at the meeting, adding that till the state government issued an order to that effect, there was no need to follow the Centre’s notification. “What one will eat, is his or her choice. No one has the right to dictate it. Do not follow that (Centre’s) order, the state has not issued any such order,” she said.