The Madras High Court on Tuesday granted a four-week stay on the Centre’s decision to ban the sale of cattle meant for slaughter. The Madurai bench of the high court sought responses from the state government and Government of India on the issue. In response to a PIL filed at the high court, a interim order was passed today by a division bench comprising Justice M V Muralidharan and Justice CV Karthikeyan.
On May 23, the Centre passed a notification seeking to regulate the sale of bovines at cattle markets. The order prohibited the sale of animals meant for slaughter. Cows, bulls, buffaloes, calves and camels are among the list of animals that are banned for sale at the cattle markets. The Centre has also tightened the rules for those looking to sell or purchase the animals.
The Centre’s move evoked strong reactions from politicians across the country, particularly in Kerala, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. Beef Fests have been organised around the country in protest against the Centre’s decision. In Kerala, Youth Congress Workers and organisations associated with the Left took out protest marches against the government. Beef was cooked and freely distributed to the public at many places. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan strongly opposed the ban and appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw it. He said the ban could adversely affect the lives of millions of people.
In Tamil Nadu, students organised Beef Fest at IIT-Madras. Acting DMK president M K Stalin will be leading a public protest on Wednesday in Chennai, demanding the Centre to revoke the notification.
West Bengal also saw similar protests against the Centre, with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee training her guns against the Centre.