ISLAMABAD: India’s beef industry has seen increased attacks from Hindu nationalists, who have seized cattle trucks and blockaded meat processing plants, in an effort to disrupt trade in the world’s second-largest beef exporter.
According to International Business Times on Wednesday, some of the groups involved in the attacks allegedly have close ties to the ruling BJP.
BJP leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had previously criticized the country’s beef industry as a “pink revolution to butcher cattle and export meat.”
Despite this, beef exports have increased by 16 percent since Modi came to power.
In the said report, the number of raids in February surgedd, with a beef transport group in the state of Maharashtra claiming that up to 10 vehicles traveling to the city of Mumbai had been stopped, the animals taken forcefully, and the drivers assaulted by Hindu nationalists.
The industry, which is predominantly run by Muslim traders, has seen opposition from Hindu activists due to the sacred status of cows in India’s majority religion.
Beef traders are reportedly concerned that the attacks may be taking place with the approval of elements within India’s ruling BJP Party.
“We are doing everything legally, but these people harass us and disrupt our work for no reason,” Mohammad Shahid Sheikh, president of the beef transporters’ group in Deonar, a suburb in northeast Mumbai said.
India’s beef industry claims to slaughter only buffaloes, which are not considered sacred under Hinduism.
However, the country has seen an increasing amount of cow theft in recent years, with cow meat often being illegally sold as buffalo.
However, Hindu groups have vowed to continue their actions.
“We don’t care if the butchers shut shop or announce a strike,” Laxmi Narayan Chandak, head of the Maharashtra unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, has said.