On Wednesday, hundreds of student and political activists staged a protest in Chennai against a ban on cow slaughter and alleged attack of an IIT Madras scholar for engaging in a campus beef festival.
A procession initiated by a section of IIT-M student was observed which demanded action against the 9 students accused of assaulting Sooraj, who suffered extreme damage in his right eye. Notably, Tamil Nadu and Kerala over-all looks discontent with the Centre outlawing the sale of cattle for slaughter at animal markets. Consumption of beef and buffalo meat is significantly popular in both states.
Police said numerous activists of the leftist organisation, Students’ Federation of India (SFI), were detained during the protests outside the IIT Madras. The slogan-shouting activists ate beef in a figurative protest against the ban.
Notably, the opposition of the BJP at the Centre said that the ban violates individual rights and will hurt millions of cattle and meat traders. The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered a four-week stay on the notification.
The opposition DMK also criticised ban, saying a situation had arisen where “we should eat only what the prime minister desires”.
“So, this ban, what we eat is now being restricted…The civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution are being snatched. Freedom is being snatched,” said party working president MK Stalin, who led the protest.
Following the assault on Sooraj, 9 students have been booked. However, they are not yet arrested. Police said in Chennai the students were booked for criminal intimidation, rioting and wrongful restraint. Sooraj has also been booked on the basis of a complaint filed by one of his attackers, Manish Kumar.
Protesting IITians have lodged a complaint with the Dean demanding strict action against the guilty. The Dean has formed a committee to examine the issue.
“The administration has not even gone to meet Sooraj, who was injured in the eye, and financial aid to him was still not given. The attackers were not even suspended so far,” said Abhinav Surya, one of the protesters.