BY JOSEPHINE DIAS | PANAJI | 4 JULY 2018: Several extreme rightist groups including the RSS, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal (BD) and the Durga Vahini (DV), besides others, are preparing a master plan and national strategy to completely ban the transportation and sale of all forms of beef in Goa and other states of India where it is still available.
Senior VHP functionary Radha Krishna Manori has been very vocal in the past about the intention of the VHP to totally ban the transportation and sale of beef across the country using one method or the other, including the use of brute force, threats and physical attacks on transporters.
This strategy is being used on a test basis in the State of Goa, where beef transporters have been harassed by VHP and Bajrang Dal members masquerading as animal activists. If successful it will be implemented nationwide. Congress legislator Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco recently called a press conference to publicly highlight the daily harassment (Read Here) meted out to beef transporters and traders in Goa.
IndiaScoops.com has learnt, a national master plan is being prepared and an interstate core group consisting of senior members drawn from all the above right-wing groups is working on a mega strategy for “Beef Mukt Bharat“, say sources familiar with the happenings within these groups.
IndiaScoops.com has learnt that one of their many strategies is to use loopholes in transportation laws and RTO regulations covering transport of raw meat from one state to the other. Another method is to use Animal Protection laws and animal rights’ activists for the purpose claiming that the animals are subjected to great torture during transportation. Many RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini members across India are registering their own new NGOs as Animal Rights or Prevention of Cruelty to Animals groups in each State to take on the beef transportation network. These organisations have planned to have at least 8-10 registered Protection of Cruelty to Animals NGOs in each State under their wing by 2019, solely dedicated to stop transportation of beef from one place to the other.
These NGOs will also raise funds from the public by organising awareness camps, seminars, etc., under the guise of discussing Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, to fund their anti-beef efforts.
Another strategy is to use health and hygiene laws at the slaughter houses to make it almost impossible for traders to slaughter bovines for food.
The overall idea of the RSS, VHP, BD and DV is to make cattle procurement and transportation so expensive and difficult, that beef will no longer enjoy the price advantage it does over poultry, pork, mutton or lamb meat and traders will totally give up dealing in beef and shift to other comparatively hassle-free businesses like poultry.
Besides, IndiaScoops.com has learnt the RSS and VHP plan to use “beef” as one of the election strategies for 2019, trying to brainwash Hindu masses into believing that all species of cattle or bovines are ultimately related biologically to the cow or gaumata due to interbreeding over the centuries and hence the slaughter of all bovine cattle must be banned. The NGOs above-mentioned will also be tasked with this job, sources told IndiaScoops.com.
As reported earlier, the VHP has claimed that it will impose a total ban on the transportation and consumption of beef in Goa by 2019, without the government’s help.
Senior VHP functionary Radha Krishna Manori, said his organisation will not hesitate to use maximum force to impose a beef ban in Goa with the help of the Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini activists by 2019. “We will use all the physical force required, including the law to ensure a total beef ban in Goa,” Manori was quoted saying to the media last year.
“Like elsewhere in the country, in Goa, too, we are awakening people against cow slaughter and eating beef. You will have to wait for another one year and our Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini workers will stop cow slaughter in the state,” he told reporters in Vasco last year (2017). Manori was referring to the NGO groups being set up across Goa.
The VHP aided by the Durga Vahini and the Bajrang Dal has plans to completely disrupt the transportation of beef to Goa by 2019, by using Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and other similar Animal Protection Acts, with the tacit support of the government machinery.
“The VHP will not require the help of any government to stop cow slaughter or beef eating, as our wings — Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini — are capable enough to do it,” Manori told media persons in 2017.
“VHP is stopping cow slaughter through Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini. We are not demanding anything from the government,” he added.
“VHP is strong enough to get done the things which it wants. Why won’t it (cow slaughter) stop? It has to stop,” he commented referring to the beef ban.
“We will do what Hindu society wants. We will not allow cow slaughter or allow anyone to eat beef in Goa,” he added.
In Goa, Congress legislator Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco on Saturday demanded police protection for beef importers, who have once again complained that cow vigilantes were stopping consignments of slaughtered beef from being brought into the state from neighbouring Karnataka.
“Even legally those who are legally importing beef, they are being harassed by cow vigilante groups and the government is promoting them,” Reginaldo told a press conference here, amid a fresh spate of beef shortage in the state, where nearly one third of the 1.5 million population belong to beef-eating minority communities.
“All Hindus, Catholics, Muslims eat what they want. Why are such differences being created now? The beef shortage is being created by cow vigilante groups in Goa, who are backed by RSS elements,” the Congress leader said.
Anwar Bepari, president of the All Goa Qureshi Meat Traders association on Friday had said cow-vigilantes were forcefully stopping beef consignments from being brought in the coastal state, giving rise of shortage of the red meat in Goa’s markets.
“The cow protection groups are taking law in their hands and stopping our legally imported consignments. They have also beaten up some drivers, who are now scared to drive the trucks carrying slaughtered beef into Goa,” Bepari told IANS.
In January, beef traders in Goa went on strike alleging harassment by cow vigilante groups.
The strike was called off after an assurance from the Chief Minister, who directed the police to crackdown on ow vigilantes.
Goa on an average consumes around 20-25 tons of beef every day, according to Bepari.
According to a report in The Wire, in the last 8-10 months, “animal activists” with links to the AWBI have gone on overdrive in Goa, specifically targeting the beef trade, the import of which is almost entirely handled by the Quraishi community.
Tired of the persistent harassment from vigilantism – in one instance “activists” threw phenyl on the meat, destroying 2,500 kg in a go – beef traders went on strike in Goa on January 6 and resumed business only after assurances of police protection from the state government.
The four-day shutdown cost the traders nearly Rs 1.4 crore in losses, the Quraishi Meat Traders Association of Goa president Manna Bepari told The Wire.
Crushing the beef trade between Karnataka and Goa appears to rate high on the AWBI’s calendar of activities currently. A day after beef imports began to trickle in again, a dozen AWBI volunteers, registered as honorary animal welfare officers, were flown into Goa (from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kochi, Hyderabad, they said). At a press conference, they alleged that the state was turning into a “hotbed for operations of the cattle mafia, illegal animal trafficking and unauthorised slaughterhouses. Laws are flouted and public health is jeopardised. Millions in black money is generated in the process. This money goes to fund terrorist outfits. Goa is under threat of becoming another Kashmir.”
Though a third of its population and the tourism industry buy beef, Goa does not rear cattle for slaughter. It is entirely dependent on Karnataka for the daily 30,000 kg supply – 25,000 kg of which is brought across the border by road by the Quraishi association currently. Around 600 Muslim families living in Goa are dependent on the trade, says Bepari who wants the government to reopen the Goa Meat Complex to facilitate the trade, reports The Wire.