Ban on cattle sale will trigger Hindutva violence against Muslims and Dalits: Popular Front

“The ban on sale of cows for slaughter and the new restrictions imposed on cattle trade by the central government will trigger new waves of Hindutva violence against Muslims and Dalits across the country”, Abdul Wahid Sait, Secretary, Popular Front of India warned in a statement issued here today following the amendments to the existing rules governing Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The move is yet another attack by the Narendra Modi government on people’s freedom to eat what they like.
According to the changes in rules, not only cow, but all different varieties of cattle such as bulls, buffaloes and camels can be sold only to a person who produces documents to prove the “agricultural” purpose of the sale and purchase. This will hurt millions of poor farmers and squeeze supplies to the country’s meat industry. Millions of farmers will be hit because they will be deprived of income from selling non-milch and aged cattle. However, the worst hit will be Muslims and Dalits involved in meat and leather trade at lower levels, who face mounting violence by Hindutva goons in the name of cow vigilante groups. There are chances of repetition of atrocities against them with state support in coming days as the country has witnessed in the case of lynching of Muslim dairy farmer Pehlu Khan in Rajasthan and flogging of Dalit men at Una in Gujarat.
Moreover, by making the rules applicable all over India, including those states where cow slaughter is legal is an assault on the federalism. In this respect, the statement has welcomed the opposition being built up in Kerala by the state government and various political parties. In fact, the central government is bringing to action, the recent call by RSS chief for ban on cow slaughter across India. Abdul Wahid Sait called upon all political parties to take a stand against this new Hidutva move at the national level.

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