Indian PM on climate: would be 'crime' to spoil environment

Indian PM on climate: would be 'crime' to spoil environment

Indian PM on climate: would be 'crime' to spoil environment

"Beef fests" have been held as a mark of protest in some states.

Many states have actively started enforcing bans on cow slaughter.

Footage also emerged on Monday showing what appeared to be a fresh vigilante attack on cattle traders, one of spate of assaults and at least 10 killings of Indians accused of consuming or transporting beef since 2015.

Forbidding the sale of cattle - including buffalos, cows and camels - comes as right-wing hardliners and cow vigilante groups have been increasingly asserting themselves with attacks on those they accuse of slaughtering cows, which are sacred to Hindus. Traditionally, cattle fairs and markets allow the sale of animals headed to abattoirs to provide raw materials used in dozens of industries, including leather making, soap and fertilizer. "That is the traditional workplace for the meat industry", said Fauzan Alavi, a spokesman for the All-India Meat and Livestock Exporters Association. Prime Minister Narendra Modi past year criticised the vigilantes, saying such people made him "angry".

The ban is likely to hit farmers and subsequently the industries dependent on it.

Last week, the government passed new rules that buyers and sellers at cattle markets or animal fairs will have to pledge in writing that the animals, which are considered holy by many Hindus, will not be slaughtered for food or any other goal.

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Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the state would not accept the imposition of such restrictions on its commercial authority.

India exported 1.33 million tonnes of buffalo meat in the 2016/17 fiscal year to March 31, worth about $3.9 billion. "You can not suddenly get up and compare them to ones in advanced countries like the USA or United Kingdom", he said.

On Friday, the federal environment ministry issued a nationwide order banning the sale and purchase of cattle from markets for slaughter.

Rahul Gandhi, a major opposition leader, was forced this week to distance himself from members of his Congress party's youth wing, who protested against the new restrictions by slaughtering a cow in public on Saturday evening, and distributing the meat to passersby.

Since the destruction of the mosque, Muslims have called for a new mosque to be constructed at the site while Hindus demanded a temple at the place of Lord Ram's birth.

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