BENGALURU: A ‘beef fest’ planned at Town Hall in the city on Monday ended in a tussle between left and right leaning outfits, without beef being served. The event, called Mooment Bengaluru, was planned by left-leaning organisations to protest against the ban on trade of cattle for slaughter at animal markets.
However, the protesters had to leave the venue after the police told them that permission was not granted for the event.
Around 6pm, activists of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), the youth wing of CPI(M), raised slogans against the Prime Minister and what they called “beef ban”. A tussle broke out when right wing activists including VHP workers tried to assault the Left-backed protesters when the later were being taken into police custody.
“We came here for a peaceful protest but right wing groups assaulted us for no reason. The police were also turning a blind eye,” said a DYFI member while being dragged by the police.However, rigt wing groups said they will not allow beef fests anywhere in the state. “They were planning to cook and serve beef here. We have also asked top officials to stop such plans. We came here to thwart any such plans”, said a VHP member.
Police said they detained around 25 people from both the sides. Five women students who protested against the Centre’s rules were also rounded up. “We cannot allow any events or protests without permission,” said a senior police officer.
Vinay Srinivasa, a lawyer and activist said, “Members of right wing groups were assaulting the protesters and pushing the police. But police detained members of only left wing groups. When I questioned, they took me to the vehicle and throw my helmet away. This in contrast to the view of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who opposed the curbs on the sale of beef”.
While the organisers claimed that they had permission to hold the beef fest, Dr Chandragupta, DCP, Bengaluru central division, tweeted that no permission had been given for any protest or beef fest at Town hall.
On Sunday, Students’ Federation of India (SFI) state vice president S Chikkaraju had sought permission to conduct a demonstration themed ‘My Food My Choice’. However, the police refused permission citing an intelligence report that organisers may cook and eat beef as done in Kerala, which may cause law and order problems in the city.