Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022
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After Hijab Row, ‘Boycott Halal’ Turns Violent In Karnataka, BJP Leader Calls Halal ‘Economic Jihad’

Hindu activists have organised a campaign to boycott halal meat in parts of Karnataka where they have urged people to buy groceries and meat only from Hindu-owned shops.

Representative image of meat
Representative image of meat AP/PTI

Following the hijab row in Karnataka, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Hindu activists have now raised the issue of halal meat with senior BJP leader CT Ravi calling halal products “economic jihad”. There have been at least two violent incidents so far.

Halal meat is traditionally consumed by Muslims in accordance with their religious beliefs.

Hindu activists have organised a campaign to boycott halal meat in parts of Karnataka where they have urged people to buy groceries and meat only from Hindu-owned shops. This has taken place ahead of the ‘‘varshadodaku” – the day after Ugadi, the Kannada New Year festival on April 2.  On this day, several communities across Karnataka, including many Hindus, have a non-vegetarian feast. 

There have been at least two violent incidents so far.  

On Wednesday, in Bhadravathi in Shivamogga district, a chicken shop owner and his relative were allegedly assaulted by 10-15 Hindu activists who demanded non-halal meat. 

On Thursday, a hotelier was abused for using halal products and a customer was attacked when he tried to intervene, according to SP BM Laxmi, quoted in The Indian Express, who said the police arrested five Bajrang Dal activists for the violence. 

Other than Bajrang Dal, Hindu Janajagruthi Samiti and Sri Rama Sene are also involved in the campaign. 

Hindu right-wing leaders Prashanth Sambargi and Puneeth Kerehalli distributed pamphlets urging people not to buy halal meat in a market in Bengaluru’s Chamarajpet area on Thursday, but locals confronted them and made them leave, according to reports. 

The state government has said that they would not intervene unless it’s a law and order concern. Moreover, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said “serious objections” have been raised about halal meat and that the government would look into it. 

He said, “We have to study it in its entirety because it has nothing to do with any rules. It is a practice that has been going on. Now, serious objections have been raised about it. After all these incidents, the law-and-order situation in the state has remained intact. Various organisations will be doing their campaigns, we know what to respond to do and what not to. Where it is required, we will respond. We don’t (respond) when it is not required.”

Karnataka’s Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said the government will act in case law and order is disturbed. Otherwise, he said, the boycott campaign is beyond their purview. 

He said, “If the law-and-order situation is disturbed, the law will take its course.”

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