07/12/2017, 09.31
INDIA
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Supreme Court suspends ban on beef: it damages Muslims

Judges have accepted the petition of All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee. The government will revisit the norm and may issue and exemption for buffalo meat, which accounts for almost all Indian bovine exports. 

New Delhi (AsiaNews) - The Supreme Court of India has decided to suspend the ban on beef that Narendra Modi's government had imposed throughout the Union. The sentence was adopted yesterday. President of the Supreme Court, Jagdish Singh Khehar, and Judge DY Chandrachud, received the petition from All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee, an NGO from Telangana, which had complained of the "arbitrary, illegal and unconstitutional" nature of the norm, which in particular afflicts the Muslim minority. Motivating its decision, the Supreme Court stated: "The law must not overwhelm people's means of livelihood."

Abdul Faheem Qureshi, president of the All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee, rejoiced: "It's a victory for us. We can restore confidence to cattle traders, who can now resume their business. " The beef ban, imposed at the end of May, had immediately prompted protests from breeders, minorities and state governments. The former were deprived of a significant source of income; The latter complain of an intrusion of government into their dietary and religious practices; The third party protested a central government interference in state affairs.

The cow is considered sacred by the Hindu religion, and some states already prevent its slaughter, with severe penalties in case of breach of the rules. The industry associations have immediately underscored the disastrous effects for the entire industry, which had an internal turnover of 1000 billion rupees (more than 13.9 billion euros) and exports of over 263 billion rupees ( 3.6 billion euros). They report that since the entry into force of the ban, buffalo meat trade has already collapsed by about 90%. To mitigate the adverse effects on the economy, P. S. Narasimha, a legal representative in Delhi, promised that the government would revisit the law and exclude buffalo meat, which accounts for almost all Indian bovine exports from the ban.

Not only that, restrictions on meat sales and slaughter have caused serious fractures within Indian society. Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, the first  to openly challenge the ban, called the imposition a "fascist move," an attempt by the Sangh family to impose their own agenda, dividing people through sectarian polarization for political purposes ". Many state employees then denounced Premier Modi for wanting to impose the "dictatorship of the Hindu majority".

The prime minister has also been accused of “silent complicity" in severe episodes of violence targeting Islamic minority members punished by Hindu fundamentalists "cow protectors" for transporting animals from one state to another. The first comprehensive study on the subject, published by IndiaSpend, confirms the worrying climate of religious intolerance in India. Between 2010 and 2017, 96.8% of the attacks on Muslims (61 out of 63 total episodes) took place under the Modi government, that is from May 2014; The main target of the extremists (51%) was Muslims and the Islamic community paid the greatest price in terms of human lives: of over 28 Indians killed, 24 were Muslim, that is 86%.

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