The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (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.
A senior VHP functionary Radha Krishna Manori, said the organisation will impose the ban in the state with the help of the Bajrang Dal and the Durga Vahini activists by 2019.
“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).
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.