Guwahati: It was a rather unusual sight in Tripura when over 600 Bajrang Dal and Vishva Hindu Parishad supporters, equipped with saffron flags, took out a rally on Sunday, shouting, “desh nahi baatne denge, gau nahi kaatne denge (we won’t let them divide the country, we won’t allow cow slaughter)”.
The saffron flagbearers also warned other community members in Joynagar, a village in West Tripura, to stop cow slaughter or face consequences.
The 600-strong crowd, led by VHP’s organizational secretary Amal Chakraborty, marched to Joynagar and even asked minority community members to show their Aadhaar cards and prove their nationality.
Sunday’s rally was taken out to protest against alleged incidents of cattle slaughter in the area.
“It was during the CPI-M rule that cow slaughter was encouraged here. This is a Hindu locality and we won’t let them threaten our people or harm our ‘gau mata’. These people don’t even have Aadhaar cards. And if they continue illegal slaughter, we will be forced to take action,” Chakraborty said.
Opposition Congress and CPI-M reacted slammed VHP for its ‘provocative’ statements.
Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee working President Pradyot Kishore Manikya said the government should rather, clamp down on illegal slaughter houses in the state.
“A ban on animal slaughter is a decision that has to be taken by the state government. VHP and Bajrang Dal activists should first lodge a police complaint if they come to know of any illegal slaughtering rather than taking law in their own hands and threatening the minority community. I personally believe that there should be a clamp down on illegal slaughter houses and mistreatment of animals,” said Pradyot.
He added that it was the government’s duty to make sure that all animals are properly certified, fit to travel and transported humanely.
CPI-M leader Pabitra Kar maintained that religious intolerance has been on the rise across India, including Tripura, ever since the BJP came to power.
“The minority population is shocked and are voicing concern about their security after Sunday’s VHP rally. It is the duty of the government to maintain the peace and tranquility in our state,” added Kar.
The BJP-IPFT government vowed to transform the tiny state of Tripura on the lines of ‘Chalo Paltai’ (Let’s Bring Change) after their resounding victory in the recently concluded Assembly elections where it dislodged the 25- year-old Left rule.
(With inputs from Tanmoy Chakraborty)