Kerala saw “beef fests” in several parts of the state in protest against the decision to ban the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter, an Indian Express report said. Protests are on in the state despite state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s assurance that he would approach the Centre on the issue, the report added.
As per te report, the chief minister has already written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying such restrictions make it difficult to uphold plurality and the essence of the nation. “It would also be against the principles of secularism and federalism enshrined in our Constitution,” he has written in the letter.
Several state governments have criticised the move. The chief minister, while claiming that the decision was part of RSS agenda, said on Friday, “Crores of people in the country are slaughtering animals for food. Those who consume meat do not belong to any particular religion. Narendra Modi has interfered with people’s right to eat. If cattle is banned today, in future there could be a ban on eating fish. ”
Protests were demonstrated by activists of the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF, UDF and their youth wings. According to PTI, protests were also seen outside the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram. The protesters had even cooked and distributed beef.
Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan, who was recently given the additional charge of the ministry, had notified the ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017’ under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act yesterday. “The aim of the rules is only to regulate the animal market and sale of cattle in them and ensure the welfare of cattle dealt in them,” he had said.
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Hitting out at the NDA Government, senior Congress leader AK Antony said the notification should be “torn to bits” and “dumped in a dustbin”, the report said further.
The UDF is planning to observe a ‘black day’ against the ban on Monday, said opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said at Thrissur.