"The ministry will review meat exports to establish if the quantity of buffalo meat produced in legal slaughterhouses for exports matches the amount shipped out of the country. If the amount is more, then it may indicate possibility of cow meat being illegally supplied for exports," Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Union Minister of State for Agriculture told NDTV, ahead of a review meeting today. The import and export of cow meat is banned in the country.
The move comes a week after 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq was killed by a mob of around 100 people in Bisada village in Dadri following rumours that he had eaten beef. His 22-year-old son, Mohd Danish Saifee, who was also attacked, is critical.
Terming the incident as a "spontaneous" act, Mr Balyan, who was accused of inciting violence during the riots in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh in 2013, said, "The issue should not be linked to communalism or the BJP just because few of the accused were linked to the BJP." Seven of the 10 persons arrested in the case are reportedly related to local BJP leader Sanjay Rana.
The 43-year-old BJP leader, interestingly, disagreed with the remarks made by party colleague and lawmaker Sangeet Som - also charged with inciting riots in Muzaffarnagar - who had described Mr Akhlaq's family as "cow-killers".
Blaming the ruling Samajwadi Party for the Dadri incident, Mr Balyan said, "No one should be killed in such a manner. But why do such incidents happen? Look at any district in the state... cow slaughter houses are set up at every place. UP government has not been able to take effective action."
The minister also added that incidents of cow slaughter, which is banned in the state, had risen in the last couple of years due to police "inaction."
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