Eight Youth Congress leaders and a butcher were arrested on Thursday in connection with the public slaughter of a male calf in Kannur to protest against the NDA government’s notification on sale of cattle for slaughter. They were later granted bail. Among the arrested Youth Congress leaders are the organisation’s Kannur mandal president Rijil Makkutty, state general secretary Joshi Kandathil and local leader Sharafudhin Kattampally. The accused had procured a male calf, slaughtered it in a stationary truck and distributed the meat among local residents to protest against the Centre’s notification.
The arrested persons face charges under Section 120 (a) of Kerala Police Act, sections 143, 147 and 149 of IPC and sections 3 and 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Since all the offences are bailable, the accused were granted bail. Following the public slaughter, the central leadership of the Congress had tried to distance itself from the incident.
“What happened in Kerala yesterday was thoughtless, barbaric & completely unacceptable to me & the Congress Party. I strongly condemn the incident,” party vice-president Rahul Gandhi had tweeted on his official handle @OfficeOfRG. A day later, Congress suspended Makkutty and two more Youth Congress leaders, saying that their action is “completely unacceptable” to the party.
The BJP, on its part, had slammed the Congress over the public slaughter, saying that it seemed to be willing to go to any lengths for political gains. Law Minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “This is shameful and in many ways provocative.”