Kerala: 24 tribal men face social boycott for consuming beef

Police said they have launched an investigation based on the information they received from various quarters on the issue of social boycott of tribal men.

Idukki: Twenty-four tribal men in Kerala’s Idukki district have been allegedly socially ostracised by the “oorukoottams” (council of tribals) for allegedly consuming beef, which is against their custom.

Police said the incidents were reported from Marayoor forest areas in this hill district and the authorities of the local self government and tribal department are trying to resolve the issue by talking to chiefs of tribal communities.

They said no case has been registered as no one has come forward to launch a formal complaint with the police on the matter.

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A senior police officer told PTI that 24 men allegedly consumed beef after coming out of their hamlets in forest areas.

The oorukoottams, which came to know about it, assembled under the leadership of their chiefs and ordered social boycott of the men who allegedly violated the centuries old tradition and customs of the community, police said.

Police said the men facing social boycott could not be contacted as they have reportedly withdrawn deep inside the forests following the oorukoottams’ decision.

Their family members including parents, siblings, wives and children have been allegedly prevented from meeting them, police said.

“If the family members meet the ousted men, they will also face similar problems. That is the situation prevailing there” police said.

Kerala Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes K Radhakrishnan told PTI that efforts were on to resolve the issue.

He said such customs and practices are still prevalent in tribal communities in the state and efforts were on to bring them to the mainstream.

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