Sixteen Youth Congress activists, who slaughtered a calf in public and cooked and distributed its meat in Kannur, have been booked by the police.
Police have registered a case against them under l120 (a) of the Kerala Police Act. The Act calls for penalty for causing nuisance and violation of public order.
120 (a) states: If any person-(a) cleans furniture, article or vehicle or slaughters any animal or cleans any carcass or grooms any animal in a publicplace causing annoyance or inconvenience to the public.
The activists have also reportedly been suspended from the party.
The slaughter in public by Youth Congress activists has not gone down well within the party with Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi condemning the incident in no uncertain terms.
â€śWhat happened in Kerala yesterday is thoughtless, barbaric and completely unacceptable to me and the Congress party,â€ť the Congress leader tweeted.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor echoed the criticism and said that one does not need to descend to this level to make a point.
Agree strongly. One does not need to descend to that level to prove a point. Cruelty to animals is unacceptable for any reason in any case. https://t.co/1t4SFaLwFXâ€” Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) May 28, 2017
CPI(M) member of Parliament MB Rajesh said, â€śIt is a thoughtless act and it will only help Sangh Parivar outfits. It is sad that Youth Congress activists stooped so low for publicity.â€ť
On Saturday, BJP Kerala state President Kummanam Rajashekaran had tweeted a video that showed a cattle being slaughtered in public.
Cruelty at its peak.Cattle slaughtering by Kerala Youth Congress leader in broad daylight,in front of public gathering. pic.twitter.com/4gBWUVDa1lâ€” KummanamRajasekharan (@Kummanam) May 27, 2017
In the video, Youth Congress leader Rijil Makkutty can be heard saying, â€śThe governmentâ€™s decision is an act of cruelty against a large population. To oppose this we will slaughter cattle in public and we will distribute the meat to the public.â€ť
While the BJP roundly condemned the incident, Youth Congress leader Rijil told TNM that no one objected to the protest. "This was our form of protest. The buffalo was slaughtered and meat distributed. Those who were present at that time did not raise any objection. BJP workers and leaders love cattle more than human beings. Kummanam Rajasekharan's statement is solely political.â€ť
On Saturday, a number of beef festivals were conducted across Kerala by various political organisations that were protesting against the central government's new rules.
The new rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act ban the sale of cattle for slaughter in the market.