PANAJI: Goa Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo has hit out at his party-led government over its "failure" to act against "so-called cow vigilantes", alleging that it has resulted in beef shortage in the coastal state.
Claiming that the shortage of beef was affecting the state's tourism industry, the BJP MLA from Calangute in North Goa district demanded the government-run Goa Meat Complex, which has been non-operational since October last year, be re-started immediately.
During the demands for grants in the House yesterday, Lobo said a large number of people in Goa eat beef and it is the government's duty to ensure they are provided the food item.
"Some so-called cow protectors are standing on the border and blocking the entry of beef (trucks) into the state. I think the government has totally failed on this," he said.
"Goa faced beef shortage in the recent times after limited transportation by traders from Karnataka citing harassment by cow vigilantes. They say that some gau-rakshaks have thrown phenyl on the beef," Lobo said.
Earlier this year, the beef traders from Goa went on strike alleging harassment by cow vigilante groups.
The strike was called off after Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's assurance to handle the issue.
"The Goa Meat Complex, which has been shut down due to silly reasons, should be re-started," Lobo said, and asked if there will be interference of the "so-called gau rakshaks".
He claimed that the shortage of beef was affecting the tourism sector.
"Goa has a sizable population of Christians and Muslims who consume beef. There is a shortage of beef for our feasts. Also, there are some tourists who specially come to Goa to eat beef," he added.
Replying to this, Animal Husbandry Minister Mauvin Godinho said the Goa Meat Complex would be made operational by August 22.