Hundreds of people protested in south India on Wednesday over the federal government’s recent restrictions on the sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter, widely seen as a political move that would alienate the country’s religious minorities.
The government rules, reported on the weekend, mandate that livestock markets will only be able to trade in cattle meant for agricultural purposes.
Cattle for slaughter will have to be brought from farmers directly, the government said, defining cattle as bulls, cows, buffalo, steers, heifers, calves and camels.
Cows are considered sacred by the country’s majority Hindu population.
The move by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, a Hindu nationalist party, is seen as protecting cows.
However, it is enraging residents in several states in India’s south and north-east, where beef is part of the local cuisine and is consumed by…
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