Kannur (Kerala): Kannur police on Sunday registered a case against the district president of Youth Congress and other Congress workers for slaughtering a calf in public.
The incident follows the huge uproar against the Centre's new rule prohibiting sale of animals for slaughter or religious sacrifice at livestock markets and animal fairs.
Students' Federation of India (SFI) yesterday staged a protest in Kerala against the ban by eating beef outside University College, Trivandrum.
Similar fests were organised at different locations across Kerala. The Centre's move also drew flak from various political leaders.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) earlier stated that by issuing this order, the government is imposing greater burdens on farmers.
"It is an absurd decision because this prohibition which the Centre has now announced includes buffaloes also. By issuing this order, the Centre is imposing greater burdens on farmers. It is very unfair to India's 'annadaata'," CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury told ANI.
The decision did not go down well with Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, who termed the move as 'illogical'.
"The government cannot decide the choice of our food. The decision seems illogical. The state government will look into it and see if anything can be done legally," Isaac told media.
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 is 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.