On Friday, DYFI Mavelikkara unit reopened the shop and claimed that they had helped the beef merchant despite threats from the RSS

How a beef stall in Alappuzha has become a sore point between the Left and RSS
news Saturday, January 02, 2016 - 18:29

On Wednesday, Jose Kallumala a meat merchant who has been running a beef stall in the Kallumala market in Mavellikara municipality in Alappuzha district for the past six years downed his shop’s shutter.

Jose’s action sent in motion a series of political events in the marketplace.

As soon as the shop was shut, word spread that the RSS was behind the closure and the sangh parivar which had a disdain for those selling and consuming beef had arm twisted the merchant, forcing him to close the shop.

The Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), CPI (M)’s youth organization blamed that local Sangh parivar leader Liju was behind the closure. The land on which Kallumala market is situated belongs to Liju’s father. The issue soon snowballed into a bigger controversy with the DYFI cadres claiming that Liju wanted the beef stall shut as a ‘promoter of cow slaughter’ tag would dent his image amongst local Hindu groups.  

On Friday, DYFI Mavelikkara unit reopened the shop and claimed that they had helped the beef merchant despite threats from the RSS.

What the DYFI claims

According to DYFI leaders, RSS is trying to imitate its Hindu identity politics model in Kerala.

“One fine day, a local RSS leader and some others came to the beef shop and asked Jose to shut it down.  Since the land on which the market was situated belongs to the local leader’s family, the shopkeeper had no option. The shop remained closed for two days and on Fridaymorning with our help he opened the shop,” DYFI area committee secretary K Sreekumar told The News Minute.

“The beef stall has been functioning in the market for last 6 years. Nobody was bothered about it till now. As beef has become a topic of national importance, the owner’s son decided to cause trouble,” Sreekumar added.

He said that allegations by RSS that the shop didn’t have license and was not disposing of waste properly were baseless.

RSS denies allegations

RSS says that it neither forced Jose to shut down the stall nor does it have any problem with the selling of beef (bovine meat), as they were only against cow slaughter.

“We have no problem with the beef stall. The only issue was that the stall was functioning illegally in the market. We informed the police and visited the market on Wednesday with the police. We asked the shopkeeper to be careful while using the space as the market road had become congested,” Liju, the local RSS – BJP local leader told The News Minute.

“When we visited the market, police were with us and we requested all the shop owners in the market to not encroach, not the beef stall alone,” he said.

Liju says that Janmabhumi (BJP mouthpiece) had reported earlier that the functioning without a license, the beef stall was causing losses to the panchayat.

 “They may have closed the stall after the news was published,” Liju said.

He also said that he had complained regarding unhygienic waste disposal and lack of license to the police.

Police deny RSS version

Police officials have washed their hands off the whole incident saying that the issue had been unnecessarily politicized and it had nothing to do with national ‘beef’ politics.

Police also denied accompanying RSS to the market on Friday as claimed by Liju.

“We have not received any complaint from the political parties or the beef stall owner in the issue. The RSS has not given any complaint and we did not accompany them to the market,” Mavelikkara Sub Inspector Suresh Kumar told TNM.


The beef stall owner Jose Kallumala was not available for response. The RSS claims that if rules are not followed, the shop will not be allowed to function. The DYFI says Jose will continue with his business under their protection. The story seems far from over.



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