The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has asked Delhi lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung to stop the sale of beef in hotels and restaurants in the national capital, complaining that the banned meat is sold on the sly.
The request came amid a raging row over beef after a Muslim man was lynched on the suspicion of cow slaughter at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi Police allegedly raided Kerala House acting on a hoax call over “Beef Fry” on the guesthouse canteen’s menu.
The VHP, at the front edge of a campaign against cow slaughter, wrote to Jung on Monday about the Delhi Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act, 1994, that clearly prohibits the purchase, sale, import, export, possession and serving of cow meat as well as slaughter of the animal.
“Despite a law being in full force, its enforcement by the authorities concerned seems to be in question. It is shocking to witness that many hotels, restaurants and food joints in Delhi are still daring to carry ‘beef’ as it is or otherwise on their menu,” says the letter signed by several VHP leaders.
“A little reference to any dictionary available clearly exposes the dubious arguments of those who are trying to mislead the masses that buffalo meat is also covered under the definition of beef,” it says in an oblique reference to Kerala House’s clarification that it was not beef but buffalo meat that was sold in its canteen.
The organisation’s spokesman, Vinod Bansal, said there have been numerous complaints about the sale of beef items in Delhi’s eateries.
The VHP, which is part of the larger Sangh Parivar to which the ruling BJP also owes allegiance, said the Kerala House episode and a latest sting aired by some television channels exposed how the law has been openly challenged and hurt religious sentiments of Hindus.
A copy of the letter was sent to the Union home ministry, the Delhi Police commissioner, mayors and commissioners of municipal corporations as well as hotels and restaurants.
“In our letter, we have categorically stated that if the sale of beef is not stopped forthwith, we will have to launch an agitation,” Bansal said.