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Cattle ban: Kerala mulls law to counter it, Cong-led UDF observes ‘black day’

Cattle ban: Kerala mulls law to counter it, Cong-led UDF observes ‘black day’

Kannur/Alappuzha: The Kerala government on Sunday suggested it could bring in a law to counter the central ban on sale of cattle for slaughter, as the political slugfest over the issue intensified fuelled by a row over a Youth Congress activist butchering a calf in full public view.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who had on Saturday shot off a letter to the Prime Minister to protest the Centre’s decision, hit out at the BJP-led government at the centre and the RSS, saying there was no need for the people of the state to draw lessons from New Delhi or Nagpur on their food habits.

Minister for Local Administration K T Jaleel said the government would consider formulating a new legislation to overcome the Centre’s cattle ban.

Opposition Congress led UDF, meanwhile, decided to observe Monday as a ‘black day’ against the ban.

Amid the raging debate over the issue, police on Sunday registered a case against a Youth Congress worker Rijil Makulti and his accomplices for slaughtering a calf in public in Kannur during ‘Beef fest’ organised across the state by the Congress and the Left yesterday to protest the Centre’s ban.

Latching onto the issue, the NDA in Kerala decided to observe Tuesday as a day of protest against the incident.

Kerala BJP president Kummanam Rajasekharan posted the video of the the gory Kannur incident on twitter, calling it “cruelty at it peak” and said no normal person can behave in this manner.

“A case has been registered under Sect 120 A of the Kerala Police Act on the basis of a complaint of Yuva Morcha activist”, Kannur SP Siva Vikram, told PTI.

The offence deals with slaughtering any animal in a way that causes annoyance or inconvenience to the public and is punishable with imprisonment up to one year or a fine of up to Rs 5,000 or with both.

An embarrassed Congress sought to distance itself, saying the party will not support anyone who has violated the law, but the Youth Congress activist who led the protest said he had no regrets.

“If anyone has violated the law then he should be dealt with accordingly and the Congress party will not support him. However, we need to first establish whether the person in the video is related to the party or not,” said Congress Spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi at a press briefing in Delhi.

However, Makulti told a television channel today, “We don’t regret our act. This was done as part of our protest.”

Speaking at a function at Alapuzha, Vijayan said Keralites have a traditional food habit pattern, which was healthy and nutritious, and nobody needs to change it.

“The state government will provide all facilities to people to partake food of their choice. There is no need for Keralites to learn it from anybody in New Delhi or Nagpur” (headquarters of RSS), Vijayan said.

Minister for Local Administration K T Jaleel said the cabinet would discuss the issue and the state government would consider formulating a new legislation to overcome the Centre’s cattle ban.

Condemning Saturday’s beef fests and butchering of the calf, BJP state President Rajasekharan said DYFI and Youth Congress, youth outfits of CPI(M) and Congress, were turning ‘butchers’ and people should be careful, he cautioned.

NDA will observe a ‘protest day’ on Tuesday against the slaughter of the calf and against CPI(M) State Secretary, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, for his alleged remarks against the Indian Army, Kummanam, who is the Chairman of Kerala NDA, said.

Balakrishnan has stoked a controversy alleging that women belonging to minority communities were subjected to atrocities by army personnel in states where the AFSPA was implemented.

Protest marches and meetings will be held, he said.

PTI