Govt to examine public representation on cow slaughter ban: Venkaiah Naidu
In a notification announced last week, the government said cows and buffaloes cannot be sold for slaughter at animal markets across India, allowing only farmland owners to trade at animal markets.Updated: Jun 14, 2017 10:02 IST
Union information and broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Tuesday the government has received several representations from the public on its notification banning the sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughter through animal markets and is examining them as the row over the issue escalated across the country.
In a notification announced last week, the government said cows and buffaloes cannot be sold for slaughter at animal markets across India, allowing only farmland owners to trade at animal markets. The notification covered bulls, bullocks, cows, buffalos, steers, heifers and calves, as well as the camel trade.
Naidu, however, refused to comment on whether the government will reconsider its notification. The Union minister added it is wrong to say that the government wants to restrict the food habit of the people.
“The environment ministry’s notification banning cow slaughter was in response to a Supreme Court’s observation on the issue,” he said.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and the CPI(M), which rules Kerala, spoke in a rare voice of unity between the two arch rivals against the Narendra Modi government.
“We won’t accept the Centre’s decision … it is unconstitutional,” Banerjee said, dubbing the ban as an attempt to “encroach into state power”.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged his counterparts to raise their voice against the restrictions on cattle trade, saying the Centre’s “anti-federal, anti-democratic and anti-secular move” is an attempt to usurp power from the state governments.
Their comments came on a day the Kerala high court asked the central government to respond to petitions challenging the ban, according to local media.
The focus on cows, considered sacred by Hindus, and beef has increased since the BJP won power in 2014. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the party’s ideological mentor, has long pushed for a nationwide ban on cattle slaughter and trade.