Southern chorus mounts against Centre’s new cattle rule (Roundup)

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Thiruvananthapuram/Chennai, May 31 (IANS) The AIADMK on Wednesday joined the chorus against new norms governing cattle trade and slaughter even as Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is said to be calling a meeting of chief ministers on the issue.

The developments came on a day the Kerala High Court saw no reason to interfere with the central government norms, and the Rajasthan High Court suggested life imprisonment for cow slaughter.

The AIADMK, which has been cosying up to the BJP in the aftermath of J. Jayalalithaa’s death, said it could not accept any decision that goes against the wishes of the people.

“The AIADMK is not in agreement,” Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker and senior party leader M. Thambidurai told reporters on the Centre’s order regulating the sale of cattle for slaughter.

He was talking to reporters after heading a delegation of senior Tamil Nadu ministers to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi.

In Thiruvananthapuram, Chief Minister Vijayan upped the ante against the central order. “The Centre through new laws is trying to wriggle into the rights of the state government, and this is a clear violation of democratic principles and will not be allowed,” said Vijayan.

Vijayan has called a meeting of the state cabinet on Thursday to decide on convening a special session of the assembly to discuss the issue — a demand which has also been put forward by the opposition Congress.

As a way forward, he is also said to be planning to call a meeting of chief ministers to discuss the issue as he strongly feels that the Centre’s decision was a serious infringement on the state’s rights and an attack on federalism.

Meanwhile, the DMK held street protests in Chennai against the Centre’s decision.

Addressing the protesters, working president M.K.Stalin demanded that the Centre revoke the order failing which another ‘Marina revolution’ would erupt in Tamil Nadu.

Stalin said in the wake of the Madras High Court’s order on Tuesday, the central government should withdraw its order banning sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughter.

On Tuesday the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court stayed the central government’s order for four weeks.

Citing the pro-Jallikattu protest held by the students and others here couple of months back at the Marina Beach here, Stalin said if the central government does not withdraw its order, then there will be another agitation on its pattern on this issue.

Stalin also questioned the silence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K.Palaniswami on the issue while his counterparts of Kerala, Puducherry and Tripura have voiced their opposition to the central government’s rule on the cattle trade.

In a related incident, members of student organisations protested outside the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) condemning the attack on a Ph.D scholar in the campus for participating in a beef festival.

Members of the pro-Left Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) and Students Federation of India (SFI) gathered outside IIT-M and shouted slogans condemning the attack on R. Sooraj.

They also shouted slogans against the central government. Police later arrested the protestors.

Members of the Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam also held a beef eating protest outside IIT-M.

Police on Wednesday said they had registered a case against eight persons in connection with the attack on Sooraj. No arrests have been made.

Sooraj was attacked on Tuesday afternoon by a group of students for participating in the beef festival organised by another group of students on Sunday in the IIT-M campus.

Sooraj suffered a major injury on his right eye and was admitted to a hospital.

The beef eating festival was organised in protest against the central government’s new rule banning sale of bovines for slaughter.

The Kerala High Court observed that there was nothing in the new central law on cattle trade and slaughter that takes away the rights of people with regard to eating beef.

A public interest petition on the central law was filed by Sunil, a Youth Congress activist. It came before Chief Justice Navniti Prasad, who said that nothing has been banned as is being spoken about now.

“If anyone reads it properly, the present law prevailing in the country along with the new order that came out none will not have come to this sort of conclusion. There is no ban on slaughter or sale of beef. What has been said in the new order is that mass sale of cattle for slaughter through the cattle market is banned,” observed the Chief Justice.

When the Advocate General C.P. Sudhakara Prasad pointed out the ruling of the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court that stayed the new order, the Chief Justice expressed surprise about it.

With the Chief Justice taking a strong stand, the petitioner pointed out that he is withdrawing the petition and the court also agreed.

In a ruling, the Rajasthan High Court suggested that the cow should be declared a national animal and its killers be sentenced to life imprisonment.

Describing himself as a “Shiv bkaht”, the judge, on the eve of his retirement, gave a ruling relating to the Hingonia Gaushala of Jaipur.

According to NGOs, over 500 cows had died at the Hingonia Bovine Animal Rehabilitation Centre in a span of 1-2 months in 2016 due to improper care.

–IANS

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