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Tamil Nadu SC/ST Commission issues notice over exclusion of beef, pork at Ambur Biryani Festival

Tamil Nadu Biryani Festival 2022: The administration had permitted only chicken, mutton, fish and prawn biryani to be sold at the festival. This had drawn criticism from Islamic and Dalit outfits, with even the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), an ally of the ruling DMK, disapproving of the ban on beef and pork biryani.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai |
May 13, 2022 12:05:26 pm
In an earlier announcement, the district administration said that the festival would be conducted for three-days from May 13 to May 15 at the Ambur Trade Centre. (File)

The Tamil Nadu State Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has sought an explanation from the Tirupattur collector for excluding beef and pork biryani stalls at the Ambur Biryani Tiruvizha 2022, a three-day biryani festival which was scheduled to begin Friday but was postponed due to the rains.

The festival was originally scheduled from May 13 to May 15 at the Ambur Trade Centre. However, the collector told IndianExpress.com on Thursday, “We are postponing the event due to the forecast of heavy rains. We will hold a meeting later with officials and decide the time and date of the festival.”

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The administration had permitted only chicken, mutton, fish and prawn biryani to be sold at the festival. This had drawn criticism from Islamic and Dalit outfits, with even the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), an ally of the ruling DMK, disapproving the ban on beef and pork biryani.

Issuing notice to Tirupattur Collector Amar Kushwaha, the commission questioned the “discrimination on communal basis”. The commission said not allowing beef biryani to be sold was discrimination against Dalits and Muslims.

“This Commission, on consideration of the petition, has chosen to take up the matter for enquiry as a practice of untouchability in the form of a discrimination against SC/ST and the muslim population which accounts for more than 2 lakhs. You are required to submit your remarks as to why the same shall not be taken as a discrimination on communal basis. and initiate action for such an official discrimination,” the notice read.

Speaking to the IndianExpress.com earlier, the collector had said the festival would have more than 20 varieties of biryani in over 30 stalls, but the organisers were avoiding beef and pork to respect the sentiments of the people, as many Hindus reside in the town.

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