A day after members of a “cow vigilante” group allegedly barged into Kerala House in New Delhi in order to protest against the ‘beef festivals’ organised in Kerala, its resident commissioner Vishwas Mehta on Friday sought additional security for the state guest house to protect it from “groups with vested interests.” “They suddenly came without any information. It is a political thing, institutions like Kerala House should be avoided,” Mehta was quoted as saying by ANI. “I have asked for additional protection because it is possible that certain people may try to create problems in view of ongoing controversy. We should not be dragged into this controversy. We have filed a written complaint against the protest in Kerala House,” Mehta added.
According to police, around 12-14 people entered the Kerala House in the capital around 8 pm and started distributing cow milk. The group also claimed to have belonged to ‘Bharathiya Gauraksha Kranti’. As per eyewitnesses, the group blocked the main entrance of the Kerala House and also threatened the cops when they were asked if they had any permission to organise the protest. In response, they reportedly said they “do not need any permission” and that they were working on the basis of the “dharma”.
Beef fests as well as marches were widely organised in various parts of Kerala to protest against the Centre’s recent decision to ban trade of cattle for slaughter in animal markets. Protesting the move, some Youth Congress activists also butchered a calf in full public view in the state where beef is widely consumed.
The Centre’s move is considered as a big blow for meat suppliers across the country who are already reeling under several reverses. Defending its move, the environment ministry had said in a statement that the regulation was to protect “animals from cruelty and not to regulate the existing trade in cattle for slaughter houses”.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had also expressed his strong disapproval of the move, sending a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in relation to the case last week. He also castigated the BJP-led government at the centre and the RSS, saying there was no need for the people of his state to draw lessons from New Delhi or Nagpur on their food habits.
In 2015, the official guest house of Kerala in Delhi made headlines after it was raided by police following a complaint by the Hindu Sena group, who noticed “beef fry” scribbled in Malayalam on a handwritten menu upon their visit.
With PTI inputs