BENGALURU: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah may have opposed the Centre’s recent rule banning trade on cattle for slaughter, but the city police once again denied permission to a protest against the ban in Town Hall on Friday.
Police detained nearly 40 members of dalit, muslim, Left and farmer groups, who gathered at Corporation Circle, and were marching towards Town Hall to protest against the ban on trade of cattle for slaughter at animal markets. Activists who came with banners and flags also raised slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Centre’s move.
“Police hit one of the protesters, Advocate Balan, a leader of CPI(ML) Liberation, on the head while taking him away and he was bleeding. Police assaulted several other members who came near Corporation Circle for peaceful protest. They have detained leaders, including Appanna of CPI(ML), Narasimhamurthy of PUCL, Jagadish of New Socialist Alternative, Rajan of Karnataka Tamil Makkal Aikhyam and leaders of SDPI,” claimed Vinay Sreenivasa of All India Central Council of Trade Unions.
When contacted, a senior police officer said, “We have denied permission for the protest in front of Town Hall as it will cause traffic congestion. We have asked them to conduct the protest in Freedom Park after taking permission.”
A protester said they would have sat in the stairs in front of the Town Hall without causing any traffic congestion. “But the police want us to protest in Freedom Park to prevent the visibility of the protest,” he said.
Crores of people who depend on skinning hides, tanning and leather manufacture will lose their jobs. Lack of beef also hits the nutritional needs of the poor, for whom it is the cheapest source of protein. These new rules affect dalits, adivasis, muslims, Christians and several backward classes. Farmers will be severely affected. If they cannot sell cows for slaughter, they cannot maintain old cows. Farmers are being pushed to the brink, said the activists in a joint press release on Friday.
Scores of activists of various organizations, including CPI(ML) Liberation, Social Democratic Party of India, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, BBMP Guttige Powrakarmika Sangha, Dalit Sangarsha Samiti (Samyojaka) participated in the protest. Separately, members of SDPI conducted a protest in Shivajinagar.
On Monday, police had detained around 25 people who planned a ‘beef fest’ in front of Town Hall. Police had also refused to give permission for the event, called ‘Mooment Bengaluru’, planned by left-leaning organisations.