GUWAHATI: Meghalaya on Monday tabled a resolution in the Assembly urging the Centre to withdraw the cattle slaughter rules, while a protest “beef festival” greeted Union home minister Rajnath Singh in Mizoram.
The Meghalaya resolution, tabled by chief minister Mukul Sangma during a special session of the House, stated that the slaughter rules were beyond the scope and object set out in the Preamble of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, thus infringing upon the rights of states. The move was supported by the opposition parties.
The resolution was tabled amidst widespread public outrage in the State against the ban on beef.
The beef festival was organised by Zolife, a social media group with over 9,000 members on Facebook, besides activists.
Some 2,000 protestors, who are members of a social media group, congregated at the Vanapa Hall in Mizoram’s capital Aizawl, and feasted on beef.
Around the same time, Rajnath Singh had his lunch just 200 meters away at Raj Bhawan.
Rajnath Singh was in Aizawl to attend a security review meeting with the chief ministers of Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh, which share the 1,643-km long India-Myanmar border.
Rajnath Singh later told reporters that there are no restrictions on food habits.
Remruata Varte, a member of Zolife, said they had purchased 100-kg beef for the festival.
“People were excited and they turned up despite the rains. By organising the festival, we wanted to send a message to the BJP-RSS that Mizos won’t be a party to the Centre’s plan to make India a beef-free country. We want them to not include us in their scheme of things and leave us alone,” he said.
This was the second protest beef party in the Northeast in three days. Two BJP leaders of Meghalaya had organised a similar party in the state’s Garo Hills on Saturday with around 2,000 attendees.
In Christian-majority Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram, where beef is a staple and integral part of the cuisine, the tribals have made it very clear that they will not accept the cattle slaughter rules.
They are ventilating their ire on social media while politicians, including those of the BJP, also want the restrictions to be removed.