Beef traders refuse to withdraw strike in Goa
Beef traders in Goa on Saturday declined to withdraw their indefinite strike and demanded that the State government should crack down on vigilante groups who “harass importers of beef from neighbouring States.”Manna Bepari, president of the Qureshi Meat Traders Association of Goa, said that an assurance has been given by the Chief Minister’s Office that the “issue would be resolved within two days.” “We will not sell beef until the government finds a solution to the problem. We went to meet Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, but he is not in Goa. The CMO has assured us that a meeting of all stakeholders will be called within two days and the issue will be resolved,” Mr. Bepari said and added, “beef will not be sold in Goa until this problem involving vigilante groups and clarity on beef-import modalities are not resolved.”Mr. Bepari said that the strike of beef-sellers on Saturday was complete success. With the beef sales completely off on Saturday, the prices of mutton and chicken surged in the range of ₹30-40 across the tourist State. According to official statistics from the State-owned Goa Meat Complex, the State’s only abattoir facility allowed to slaughter cattle and buffaloes, nearly 30 tonnes of fresh beef is consumed in Goa every day. And majority of the beef is imported from Karnataka by the meat traders in Goa to meet the demand for the red meat. The beef traders have been accusing anti-beef vigilante groups and so-called ‘gaurakshaks’ of harassing them. Mr. Bepari said that they were tired of the raids on beef transporters coming from neighbouring states.“They are not allowing our business to function. Every other day these groups target the beef consignments which we order from the open market from Karnataka and government officials also keep harassing us,” Mr. Bepari said on Friday referring to recent raids on beef transporting vehicles, which he alleged were inspired by vigilante groups.