DAYS AFTER Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticised the crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses in UP, the state BJP minority cell has decided to launch an awareness programme about the “ill effects and environmental hazards” of beef consumption and cow slaughter in Bengal. The BJP state unit has tasked its minority cell president, Ali Hossain, and his supporters, to spread the message against beef eating and cow slaughter among the state’s Muslim population. Bengal, one of the few states in India where slaughter of cattle is legal, has a Muslim population of 27 per cent.
“Consumption of beef or cow slaughter has nothing to do with our religion. Actually, a section of misguided people and opportunist political parties are trying to propagate as if beef consumption and cow slaughter are parts of our religion,” Hossain said. He added the state’s minority cell units would fan out in different parts of Bengal to raise awareness about negative health and environmental impacts of cow slaughter and beef consumption. “India is a tropical country and consumption of beef or any form of red meat causes a lot of health problems. This has been clinically proved. Red meat, especially beef, is highly dangerous to health… Killing of cows, on the other hand, will lead to environmental imbalance. Cows are the most useful animal for mankind. Killing cows for consumption of meat is not good,” he claimed.
The decision comes days after Mamata expressed concern over the “recent happenings” in UP. “We are concerned about recent happenings in Uttar Pradesh. People are afraid and many are scared about differences over caste, creed and religion,” she had tweeted. The government had also started a drive to provide non-vegetarian delicacies to the people through ‘Meat on Wheelz’. Apart from taking cooked non-veg delicacies to Kolkata and its suburbs, the ‘Meat on Wheelz’ would also sell frozen packaged items of popular brand ‘Haringhata Meat’. Representatives of the beef industry in Bengal have said that the meat trade — from loading and unloading of cattle, their transportation, to sale of beef and the transportation of beef — employ at least five lakh people.
Mohammed Ali, president of Calcutta Beef Dealers’ Association, said: “Since March 24, not a single buffalo has been slaughtered at Tangra slaughterhouse — one of the biggest in the state. In normal circumstances, around 150 buffaloes are slaughtered everyday.”