New Delhi: About 600 Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad supporters took out a rally in Tripura on Sunday, armed with saffron flags, to warn people not to slaughter cows.
The crowd shouted slogans such as “Desh nahi baatne denge, gau nahi kaatne denge (We won’t let them divide the country, we won’t allow cow slaughter)”, News18 reported. People who were part of the rally in Joynagar village, west Tripura, also reportedly warned people of severe consequences if they didn’t stop cow slaughter.
In addition, the group reportedly stopped Muslims in the village and asked them to show their Aadhaar cards and prove their nationality.
“It was during the CPI(M) rule that cow slaughter was encouraged here. This is a Hindu locality and we won’t let them threaten our people or harm our ‘gau mata’. These people don’t even have Aadhaar cards. And if they continue illegal slaughter, we will be forced to take action,” VHP’s organisational secretary Amal Chakraborty, who led the rally, told News18.
Both the Congress and the CPI(M) have condemned the slogans raised and the actions of the VHP and Bajrang Dal supporters. “A ban on animal slaughter is a decision that has to be taken by the state government. VHP and Bajrang Dal activists should first lodge a police complaint if they come to know of any illegal slaughtering rather than taking law in their own hands and threatening the minority community. I personally believe that there should be a clamp down on illegal slaughter houses and mistreatment of animals,” Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee working president Pradyot Kishore Manikya told the channel.
CPI(M) leader Pabitra Kar said that Sunday’s rally was only further proof of rising religious intolerance under BJP rule in various parts of the country. “The minority population is shocked and are voicing concern about their security after Sunday’s VHP rally. It is the duty of the government to maintain the peace and tranquility in our state.”
While the CPI(M) was in power in the state, the Tripura government had said it would not implement the Narendra Modi government’s controversial notification banning the sale of cattle for slaughter (which is likely to be withdrawn). “A large section of people, specially those from the Dalit community, are engaged in the business of cattle skin. Farmers engaged with cattle business, minorities, those who depend on cattle for their source of protein would be directly affected,” CPI(M) Tripura state secretary Bijan Dhar had said then.
(With IANS inputs)