Agencies: The Kerala Police on Thursday arrested eight Youth Congress workers including former Indian Youth Congress (IYC) Kannur Parliament constituency committee Rijil Makutty for killing an ox. The three accused Makutty, Josey Kandathil and K. Sharafuddin had slaughtered a calf last week in protest against Centre’s decision to impose restrictions on the trade of cattle meant for slaughter, triggering nationwide outrage.
The Kannur Police earlier on Sunday registered a case against district president of Youth Congress and other Congress workers under Section 120 (A) of the Kerala Police Act, for slaughtering calf in public view. The police filed the case on the basis of a video where the president of Youth Congress, Rigil Pookkutty and other Youth Congress workers could be seen slaughtering the calf.
The incident comes amid hue and cry over Centre’s new rule prohibiting sale of animals for slaughter or religious sacrifice at livestock markets and animal fairs. Students’ Federation of India (SFI) also staged a protest in Kerala against the ban by eating beef outside University College, Trivandrum.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the Centre’s decision was surprising which was unsuitable for a democratic nation. However, welcoming the Centre’s decision, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi said the step is laudable and has been taken ‘in the interest of farmers.’
Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan earlier ordered that the ministry has notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 to ensure that the sale of cattle is not meant for slaughter purposes.
“Aim of the rules is very specific. It is only to regulate the animal market and the sale of cattle in these markets, and ensuring welfare of cattle dealt in market. And the rule provides for a strict animal monitoring committee and an animal market committee at the local level,” Vardhan told ANI.
He said the seller and buyer both have to ensure that the cattle is not being bought or sold in the market for slaughter purposes. “An undertaking to this effect has to be given to the member secretary of the animal market committee from the seller as well as the buyer,” Vardhan added.
As per the notification, cattle are defined as “bulls, bullocks, cows, buffalos, steers, heifers and calves and camels”. The rules also state that the purchaser shall not sacrifice the animal for any religious purpose or sell it to a person outside the state without permission and must keep in with the state’s cattle protection laws.