The Congress today distanced itself from the public slaughter of a calf in Kerala allegedly by Youth Congress workers, saying those behind the incident have no place in the party and have been suspended. Three Youth Congress workers–Kannur YC district president Rijil Makkutty and activists Joshi Kandathil and Sharafuddin–were suspended both from the YC and the Congress, party sources in Thiruvananthapuram said. The AICC in-charge of communications, Randeep Surjewala, said such action by Congress workers was “completely unacceptable” and was “alien to civil society, our culture and founding principles”. “Anybody who has done so will have no place in the party and that’s why the workers have been already suspended by the Youth Congress,” he said. “Such elements have no place in the Congress or in our culture. Indian culture is not to cause harm to any living being, much less to the holy cow which we all celebrate and revere,” he also said.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had yesterday condemned the butchering allegedly by some Youth Congress members to protest against the government’s move to ban sale of cows for slaughter. Terming the incident as “thoughtless and barbaric”, he said that it was “unacceptable” to him and his party. “What happened in Kerala yesterday is thoughtless, barbaric and completely unacceptable to me and the Congress. I strongly condemn the incident,” he tweeted. Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president M M Hassan said in Thiruvananthapuram that the action had dented the Youth Congress’ protest and the activists were suspended from the party. “The public slaughter of the calf by the YC activists is against the Congress’ culture. The party condemns the incident,” Hassan told reporters.
Surjewala, however, asked whether the BJP would give similar advice to BJP-ruled Goa and to its chief minister Manohar Parrikar, to Union minister Kiren Rijiju who has been “gloating” over similar incidents, or to other BJP-ruled states “where such incidents are common”. “We should rise above partisan politics and comprehensively condemn such incidents,” he said. Surjewala also raised the issue of attacks on Dalits in Uttar Pradesh.
The Kerala Police today booked some Youth Congress activists after the incident drew flak from various quarters.