A group of students at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras conducted a beef festival, showing their agitation against the Centre recent order against selling cattle thus imposing an indirect beef ban.
More than 50 students supported the cause by participating in this fest late on Sunday night.
Earlier on May 27, Students’ Federation of India staged similar protest in Kerala by eating beef outside University College, Trivandrum.
Similar fests were also organised at different locations across Kerala.
Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan on Friday 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 said.
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.
Protests were held in several parts of Tamil Nadu, including Madurai, Coimbatore, Erode and Hosur. Several activists of a little known pro-Tamil outfit were detained in Madurai where they had organised a beef eating contest. Tamil Nadu's main opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has planned a protest on May 31.
Raising the pitch on the issue, opposition parties urged the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government to enact a law against the ban.
The DMK slammed the E K Palaniswami government for "keeping mum" on the matter when neighbouring Kerala and Karnataka had vehemently opposed the ban.
DMK working president M K Stalin will lead a protest on May 31 in Chennai against the ban, the party said, adding "the fundamental right to choice of food granted by the Constitution has been snatched away".
The Congress-led United Democratic Front observed a 'black day' in various parts of Kerala and took out protest marches. The ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist said it would organise 'evening dharnas' in 2000 places across the state on June 2.
The protests will be held from 4 pm in public places in panchayats, municipalities and corporation areas, The CPI-M state secretariat said in a press release.
The new rules were part of centre's move to implement the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh agenda, it said.