Launching a blistering attack on his own BJP government on the shortage of beef and beef vigilantism issue, deputy Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly and BJP MLA Michael Lobo said on Wednesday that the BJP-led coalition government had failed beef eaters by not making it available in the state and not keeping cow vigilantes in check, reports The Hindu.
“Some so-called cow protectors are standing at the border and blocking the beef that is being brought into Goa. They say that some Gau Rakshaks have thrown phenyl on the beef,” alleged Lobo.
“I think we have failed on this, in ensuring that local Goans get their staple dietm” Lobo told the Goa legislative assembly during the ongoing monsoon session.
Lobo, who represents Goa’s tourism heartland Calangute, said that the shortage of beef in the state was also affecting the tourism sector.
“The Goa Meat Complex (State abattoir) has been shut. Some people may not like the way I am talking but if we do not want beef to come from Karnataka and Maharashtra, then certified cattle in Goa should be slaughtered at the government meat complex,” Lobo, MLA from Calangute constituency told the Goa legislative assembly.
“I want the minister to tell me when the Goa Meat Complex will start and whether there will be interference from so called gau rakshaks, ” Lobo asked?
The Meat Complex shut down on technical reasons has forced Goan beef traders to import beef from neighbouring states, to meet the demand for the red meat.
While respecting the sentiments of the “Gau Rakshaks”, Lobo said, “There are people in Goa in large numbers, the Christian and Muslim community and others who eat beef. There are tourists from all over the world who come here to eat beef. Among foreign tourists on whom the State depends to a great extent for its economy, beef is a delicacy. You cannot stop that. But now there is a shortage of beef for our (Catholic) festivals and feasts,” Lobo complained.
Goa on an average consumes around 20-25 tons of beef every day, and in the absence of operations by State’s only mechanised abttoir in Usgao in South Goa, demand is met by importing from neighbouring states by members of local meat traders’ association.
Earlier this year, beef traders in the State went on strike alleging harassment by cow vigilante groups. The strike was called off after intervention by the Chief Minister who directed the police to crack down on cow vigilantes.
With Christians and Muslims forming one-third of the population, Goa consumes around 20-25 tons of beef every day.
The only government-run abattoir, Goa Meat Complex, has been non-functional, due to a litigation forcing traders to bring in beef from Karnataka.
Due to the indirect ban on beef and harassment to the beef traders and importers, a shortage of beef has been created with prices of the staple food going up, Lobo explained.