Allow cops to raid homes if citizens possess beef: Maharashtra to SC

In another bizzare move that could spark yet another controversy, the Maharashtra government has appealed to the Supreme Court for the revival of a provision that makes possession of beef (cow, bullocks and buffalo) at home from outside the state illegal.

A law, Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act was struck down by the Bombay High Court that allowed any police officer to stop and search any person suspected of possessing beef slaughtered outside Maharashtra. It also empowered the police to carry raids in the suspect’s houses.

The keyword being suspect, it would be important to note that this move from the state government comes right when the Supreme Court concluded that right to privacy is not a fundamental right but a part of right to personal liberty.

Joachim Colaco, trustee of the United Christian Community Centre told the Hindustan Times that they would certainly go by the rules, but this was certainly not the right way.

Last year the Bombay High Court struck down the law in a strongly worded 245 page judgement, the court believed that the law was an intrusion into a citizen’s home and preventing from possessing and eating the food of his choice.

News Source: Hindustan Times, Huffington Post

Image Source: Reuters

Two muslim women assaulted over beef rumors

Over suspicion of carrying large quantities of beef to sell, two muslim women were kicked, slapped and abused by a furious mob. The police, who were reportedly at Mandsaur railway station, acting on a tip off to arrest the duo did little or nothing to control the mob reported Hindustan Times
In a mobile video that was circulated after the incident, the women were targeted after cow vigilante groups and ‘Gau Rakshaks’ cornered the women shouting slogans like “‘Gau Mata Ki Jai (Hail holy cow)” while the women of the group kicked, punched and slapped the two muslim women, till one of them collapse.
Police sources told NDTV, that around 30 kg of meat was recovered from the women. However, after examination of the meat, the report prima facie suggests that it was instead buffalo and not cow meat. Nonetheless, the women have still been charged since they did not have a permit to sell.
BJP MLA Yashpal Sisodia defended the activists saying, “Those women are criminals, and it was women who beat them up, so it was a reaction to an action” in a statement given to the Hindustan Times
Condemning the act, state home minister, Bhupinder Singh stated that, “No one can take the law into their hands, a probe will be conducted and action would be initiated against those who attempted to do so.” reported NDTV.


Gujarat Writer Returns Award as a Protest against Flogging of Dalit Men

Gujarati writer, Amritlal Makwana has said that he would be returning his award which was bestowed upon him by the state  government as a protest against the stripping and flogging of the Dalits in Una. He was honoured with the Dasi Jeevan Shreshth Dalit Sahitya Kruti Award in 2014. He will be returning his cash prize of Rs. 25,000 along with the award.

Earlier this month, a few Dalit men were punished by members of the Shiv Sena who alleged that they killed the cow. A video which went viral of the ghastly treatment of the young men created an uproar among many, especially in Gujarat. As a response to this, Makwana will be going to surrender the award at the District Administrator’s office in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. The award wapsi began with the public lynching of Aqlaque who was accused of consuming beef with his family.

According to the India Today, Makwani said “Such incidents are occurring in Gujarat on a regular basis but the government is not doing enough to ensure that Dalits get justice.”

Meat found in Akhlaq’s fridge was mutton, not beef

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On the unfortunate night of 28 September, 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq and his 22-year-old child Danish were dragged out of their home in Bisada town in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri region, and fiercely assaulted by a horde of 200 on the suspicion that the family consumed meat. Akhlaq did not survive the assault and his child has just barely been moved out of the ICU of a nearby hospital.

Since the assault, Akhlaq’s family  has kept up that there was no beef in the house. The meat seized by the crowd and later by the police was mutton. What’s more, a legal test demonstrated only that.

According to a report in The Times of India, the meat that the crowd found in Akhlaq’s refrigerator and which they asserted was the proof they needed to lynch him was mutton, not beef. After the merciless homicide of Akhlaq, the police had sent the meat test to a vet for preparatory testing. In any case, the police, certainly, sent the meat for testing to a Mathura lab and the outcomes said that the meat found in Akhlaq’s refrigerator was not beef, but rather mutton.

Whether it was beef or mutton is unimportant to the wrongdoing that was conferred, yet the lab report affirms how ridiculous bits of gossip coursed by a modest bunch prompted the man’s death.

The most piercing piece of the report was this portion.

Akhlaq’s little girl, Sajida, said the family had “mutton in fridge” and not beef. “Can they bring my father back if it turns out it was not beef?”

Reviewing the occurrence, Akhlaq’s wife told PTI, ” There was a lot of noise and they were banging our doors and abusing us. The entered the house by jumping a wall from the other side. Then they started misbehaving and vandalising things after which they mercilessly thrashed us.”

Seven individuals allegedly involved in the episode have as of now been arrested. Reportedly, a priest at the neighborhood temple, made the announcement on the public address system aboutt the family having devoured beef, and two young people, who professedly constrained him to do that, were “major links” to the incident.

A political slugfest has been going ahead over the lynching case. While very nearly everyone turned out in backing of the dispossessed family, Hindu radicals defended the murdering saying cow was a sacred animal and slaughtering it will not be tolerated.

Modi finally speaks about Dadri Incident, advocates a fight against poverty

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has finally voiced his opinion on the Dadri lynching incident and has further urged Hindus and Muslims to break communal barriers and fight against poverty.

In an incident that shocked the nation, fifty year old Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched to death after rumours about the family consuming and storing beef in their house spread. The horrific event took place in a village that has a Hindu-Muslim population but has never experienced any communal tension.

Modi, while addressing a rally in Bihar’s Nawada said, “Hindus and Muslims should work together to fight poverty and not against each other. The country has to stay united. Only communal harmony and brotherhood will take the nation forward.”

Modi also reiterated the president’s message who pressed upon the importance of upholding India’s values of diversity and tolerance. “Hear the speech of President Pranab Mukherjee yesterday. There can be no bigger thought than that. President has shown us the way, and we have to walk on that path. Only then will we be able to live up to the expectations of the world,” the PM said.

Dadri Killings and Muzaffarnagar Riots Related, Says Mulayam Singh

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LUCKNOW: Days after the Dadri killing, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav said those behind the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots were included for this situation as well. The intrigue, he said, had been brought forth by “three persons of a specific party” and the state will make stern move against the accused, “even if we have to sacrifice the government”

Nine men have been captured for the September 28 lynching – seven of them supposedly identified with a neighborhood BJP leader. One of them is his son, who had supposedly prompted the crowd that murdered 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq taking after bits of gossip about cow slaughter and beef consumption.

Another BJP leader, legislator Sangeet Som – who is additionally an accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots- visted Dadri throughout the weekend.

Mr Som, as well, had evoked Muzaffarnagar at Dadri, in a speech delivered outside the temple from which the call to action against cow killing had been given.

Calling Mr Akhlaq’s family “cow killers”, Mr Som said the administration of Uttar Pradesh had “taken them away in a plane, the way they did with the plotters of the Muzaffarnagar riots”.

Mr Som has been accused of making incendiary speeches in front of the 2013 riots that murdered more than 60 and left several thousand destitute. He is presently out on safeguard.

The BJP has faced harsh criticism from opposition parties for the remarks by Union Minister Mahesh Sharma that were seen as provocative and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s quiet on the issue.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, has on the other hand, advocated “most strongest possible action” against the guilty “who try to break communal harmony in the country “.

Union minister Arun Jaitley as well, had censured the episode, saying these occasions don’t bring a “good name to the country”.

Who will the ban affect?

President Pranab Mukherjee recently gave his nod to the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 1995; nearly two decades after the Maharashtra Assembly passed it during the BJP-Shiv Sena rule in 1995. Though, cow slaughter was already banned in the state since 1976, the new act will prohibit the slaughter of bulls and bullocks, which was previously allowed based on a fit-for-slaughter certificate. Only slaughter of water buffaloes, which provides an inferior quality of meat, will be allowed now. The punishment for the crime of slaughtering or eating beef will be imprisonment for five years and a fine amount of Rs. 10,000.

Cow slaughter has been a much debated topic for centuries in India. The debate always had a religious significance as the cow is a holy animal for the Hindus. The beef trade in the state is largely controlled by the Qureshis and the ban is going to render many of them jobless. Inevitably, the ban makes the minority community feel alienated. Kader Chaudhry, a Muslim leader said to Times of India, “This shows how insensitive the government is to Muslims and their issues. After depriving them of reservation and attempts to grab Ismail Yusuf College, it has dealt yet another blow to a section of the community with the ban on beef trade. It is diligently working on agenda of the Sangh Parivar.”

beef CM

Beef is often seen as a poor man’s meat, as it costs only one third of the price of mutton. The ban will make the poor people forgo a cheap source of protein. Also, many poor Muslims would make do with beef on Eid as they couldn’t afford mutton. They would now have to look for other alternatives.

Once the ban is implemented it is going to impact the dietary choices of not only humans, but also animals. Animals in the zoo are fed beef meat. A tiger needs to be fed at least seven kilos of beef every day. Recently, when the beef traders went on a strike, the authorities had to feed them chicken.

Now, with a blanket ban, the tigers will again suffer. Since beef is their natural food, they cannot survive on chicken for too long.

The bill is also being perceived as an anti- farmer bill, as it will directly impact them. Earlier, the farmers would send their cattle for slaughtering once those animals could not work on the farm anymore. But now, the farmers would have to bear the burden of rearing them until their end, which is not very viable economically. Many farmers, due to lack of funds, may not feed their old cattle; thus, causing their death. Hence, the bill passed to protect cattle may eventually lead to more hatred against the BJP. It currently has an image of a development oriented party, but is doing much harm to its image by this bill. In the long term, this bill will affect our exports, our farmers, and even the nutrition of our country. Many restaurants are also contemplating to close down as the bill demands a change in their cuisine. The government needs to weigh these pros and cons before implanting the bill.