A day after some Kerala youth Congress activists publicly killed an 18-month-old calf to protest against the Centre-imposed ban on sale of cattle for slaughter at cattle markets across the country, politics has heated up over the gory incident.
The Union ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had announced the decision to ban sale of cattle for slaughter in a gazette notification dated May 23. On Sunday, the Youth Congress activists allegedly killed the calf in full public view in an open vehicle in district Kannur of Kerala, inviting flak from all quarters including the top Congress leadership.
Posting the video of the incident on Twitter, Kerala BJP president Kummanam Rajasekharan said the incident was “cruelty at its peak” and no normal person could behave in such manner. CPI(M) MP M B Rajesh said such form of protest should have been avoided as it would only help the ‘Sangh Parivar’.
Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath has questioned as to why organisations that demand respect for each other’s sentiments in the name of secularism are silent over the Kannur incident, according to ANI.
Soon after the incident shocked people across the country, Congress leadership distanced itself from the incident. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “What happened in Kerala yesterday is thoughtless, barbaric and completely unacceptable to me and the Congress Party. I strongly condemn the incident.” However, a Youth Congress member, who led the protest, told PTI that he had no regrets over the incident.
Both the calf-slaughter incident and Centre’s decision to ban sale of cattle for slaughter at cattle markets have invited sharp reactions from different groups. Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has vowed to go to court against the Centre’s decision.
Meanwhile, Congress has suspended three Youth Congress members who were involved in the incident. “What we saw is completely unacceptable and is alien to Indian civil society, our culture and founding principles. Such elements have no place in the Congress party or in our culture. India’s culture is not to cause harm to anybody, any living being much less to the holy cow which we all celebrate,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told ANI.
However, Surjewala also attacked the BJP for coming up with such a rule to ban sale of cattle for slaughter. “May we also ask whether BJP will also give similar advise to BJP ruling government in Goa and to Manohar Parrikar and Kiren Rijiju who has been blotching over similar incident or to other BJP ruled states where such incidents are common,” Surjewala said
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said Centre’s notification to ban sale of cattle for slaughter was “absurd”. He said the government is being unfair to farmers by issuing such order. However, Union Environment minister Harshvardhan has said the new rule is aimed at ensuring welfare of the cattle traded in markets.
In Kerala, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is observing a ‘protest day’ today against the slaughter of the calf by the Youth Congress activists.