Cattle ban: Naidu slams attack on Centre, says 'I'm non-vegetarian myself'

| Updated: Jun 07, 2017 04:39 IST

New Delhi [India], June 6 (ANI): In wake of the ongoing protest across the nation over the ban on the sale of the cattle slaughter, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said that food is a matter choice and everyone has the right to choose what they want to eat and what not. "Some people keep saying such things that BJP wants to make everybody vegetarian. It is people's choice to eat whatever they want. I am myself a non-vegetarian, and I think food is a matter of choice," Naidu said. He further asserted that people are just trying to give the entire cattle ban issue a political colour. Earlier in the day, the member of 'Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam' organised a beef festival to protest against Centre's ban on sale of cattle for slaughter. Biryani was served to the people in this festival with beef chukka (a semi gravy and beef cutlets). Opposing the ban imposed by the Centre, the beef lovers gathered here said that beef is their part of their daily meal and nobody has the right to decide what to eat and what not to. Earlier on June 1, the students at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT- Madras) staged a protest against the Central Government's notification banning the sale of cattle for slaughter. With the police deployed in front of the IIT campus, the students protested at the main gate and raised slogans against the Centre's controversial notification. Around 50 students on May 28th took part in a 'beef fest' as a mark of protest against the new rule. Later, R. Sooraj, a PhD student of aerospace engineering at the college, who was also part of the ' beef fest', was allegedly attacked by a few students from the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Sooraj, who is a member of the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (APSC), was injured in his right eye and was hospitalized. On May 27, Students' Federation of India (SFI) staged similar protest in Kerala by eating beef outside University College, Trivandrum. Similar fest was also organised at different locations across Kerala. However, reiterating the Government's stand of its order on ban on sale of cattle for slaughter, Union Minister for Science and Technology Dr. Harshvardhan said the rules have not been formed to change or control anybody's food habits, nor will it affect the slaughter business. "We have clearly mentioned that the rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act have not been formed to change or control anybody's food habits, nor affect slaughter business. Despite of this, if people have misconception about it, we have asked suggestions that have been submitted and will be contemplated upon. It is not a prestige issue for us," he told ANI. There has been a wide opposition of the Central Government's order, with many states openly denying accepting the notification. Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan had ordered that the ministry has notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 to ensure that the sale of cattle is not meant for slaughter purposes. (ANI)