Eight suspended Youth Congress leaders including Kannur mandal president Rajeel Makkutty were arrested by the police Thursday for their involvement in the public slaughter of a calf as part of a protest against the Centre’s notification banning the sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter at animal markets. The arrest took place on the basis of a complaint filed by the Yuva Morcha, the BJP’s youth wing, against the leaders for slaughtering a calf in an open truck in the public and later distributing its meat for free among the public in Kannur.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had condemned the act, calling it ‘thoughtless’, ‘barbaric’ and ‘completely unacceptable.’ The central leadership of the party also distanced itself from the protest.
“India’s ethos and the Congress party’s culture abjures any kind of violence or barbarism against every living being, much less the cow, which has a special place in the hearts and minds of people of India. The horrific incident in Kerala is reprehensible and absolutely condemnable… Such elements have no place in the Congress party,” Randeep Surjewala, head of the communications department of the party, said.
The case against the Youth Congress leaders has been filed under section 120-A of the Kerala Police Act and could invite a jail term of one year and a fine of Rs 5000 if the accused are convicted. The leaders were suspended from the party after videos of the slaughter went online.