Goa to enjoy beef, once again, after traders call off strike
Panaji, Jan 10: The beef traders in Goa went on a strike to raise their protest against harassment meted out to them by cow vigilantes.
In the process, foodies, including a large portion of tourists, in the state were forced to stay away from enjoying beef after the normal supply of meat got affected.
On Tuesday evening, beef traders finally decided to call off their four days of strike giving relief to the meat lovers.
While announcing the withdrawal of strike, All Goa Qureshi Meat Traders Association said the resumption of meat supply from neighbouring Karnataka will start from Wednesday.
"Police have assured us that they will not allow the harassment of traders who import beef from Belagavi in Karnataka at the border," Association president Manna Bepari told reporters.
"So we are withdrawing our strike and the supplies will resume from tomorrow," Bepari said.
Beef traders were on a strike for four days as a result of which the coastal state faced a scarcity of beef.
Gau Raksha Abhiyaan, an NGO, had targeted trucks carrying beef from Karnataka, claiming that animals are slaughtered in illegal slaughterhouses across the state border.
Former Congress MP Francis Sardinha alleged that many cow vigilantes "are sponsored by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)- led state government (in Goa)".
"This is because the government wants to satisfy its bosses in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)," Sardinha told a press conference.
"Beef was a staple food in the coastal state and part of the cuisine of the minority communities", he said.
Slaughterhouses in Karnataka too had refused to supply the meat till the Goa government took steps to stop the harassment by cow vigilante groups.
According to Bepari, around 25 tonnes of beef is brought to Goa from Belagavi every day.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged that the "beef crisis" was being created to divert the attention of people from controversies like the Mahadeyi river water sharing and coal pollution.
While the BJP and several right-wing groups have openly expressed their reservation over-consumption of beef, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar government has always maintained that legal beef trade will never be stopped in the state.
"Those selling beef after completing all the legal formalities are free to carry forward their business as always", Parrikar said on Sunday.