IIT Madras students protest against attack on research scholar who organised "beef fest"
Chennai: A large number of students held a protest at the Indian Institute of Technology or IIT Madras against an attack on a research scholar who participated in a "beef fest" earlier this week. The beef fest was organised to protest against the Centre's new cattle rules, which the students say infringe on their right to eat what they want. There have been similar protests in Kerala and Karnataka and several state governments have said they will not implement the ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter at animal markets.
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- Pro-Left student bodies also protested outside the IIT Madras campus today condemning the attack on the PhD scholar and opposing the Centre's ban on sale of cattle for slaughter. Protesters were detained by the police.
- An inquiry has been ordered after the attack on the scholar Sooraj R, allegedly by a group of students affiliated to right-wing organisations at IIT Madras. He was one of about 80 students who gathered two days ago to discuss the Centre's order and ate beef in protest.
- MK Stalin of Tamil Nadu's main opposition party the DMK, led about 300 workers in a protest against the Centre's order and courted arrest this morning in Chennai. Later, he met R Sooraj, who has been admitted at a private hospital, a release from his party said. Mr Sooraj was injured in his right eye when he was attacked.
- The Madras High Court has put the new rules on hold in Tamil Nadu for a month as it sought the response of the Centre and state to a petition that alleges that the cattle ban violates the right of a person to choose what he eats.
- After West Bengal and Kerala, Tripura's Left government has said it will not implement the Centre's new cattle trade and slaughter rules, describing them as 'anti-people'. Meanwhile, Kerala High Court has said that there's no need for it to interfere with the Centre's ban on cattle sale for slaughter.
- Meghalaya's Congress Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has accused the Centre of "usurping the powers of parliament and a complete misuse of the law." The BJP's ally in the state, the National People's Party has written to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him not to sign off on the new rules. There have been protests in several states.
- After the backlash, union minister Venkaiah Naidu said on Tuesday that the centre will "duly examine the issues" raised by states and trade organisations on the new regulations, which ban the sale of cattle for slaughter at animal markets.
- Sources have said that the environment ministry will examine the possibility of changing the definition of cattle in its new rules to exclude buffaloes. The ministry had included bulls, bullocks, cows, buffalos, steers, heifers, calves and camels in its definition of cattle. New directions, if any, will however only come after the return of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from his four-nation tour this weekend. Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan is also travelling with the Prime Minister.
- Among Chief Ministers who have objected to what they call an infringement on state powers by the Centre are Bengal's Mamata Banerjee and Kerala's Pinarayi Vijayan, who alleged "covert" action by the Centre, which has brought the new rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, which applies across the country.
- In its order, the environment ministry said that animal markets will only be able to trade in cattle meant for agricultural purposes. It said cattle for slaughter will have to be bought from farmers directly, in a move that hits the meat trading industry, members of which have said they plan to move court.
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