South Indian court orders 4 week stay on cow slaughter rules

The court suspended for four weeks the order that prohibited animal markets from trading cattle, including buffalo, for slaughter, lawyer S. Selvagomathy told Reuters.The suspension by the court in Tamil Nadu was effective countrywide, said Selvagomathy, who petitioned the court.

Many state governments have criticized the ban as a blow to beef and leather exports that will leave hundreds of thousands jobless and deprive millions of Christians, Muslims and poor Hindus of a cheap source of protein.

The rules that took effect Friday require that cattle traders pledge that any cows or buffalos sold are not intended for slaughter.

A southern Indian state announced Sunday it would go to the supreme court to challenge a federal ban on the sale of cows for slaughter, stepping up a showdown with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Pinarayi Vijayan, chief minister Kerala, said the ban undermined his state's commercial autonomy, had "far-reaching consequences and would be detrimental to democracy". However, the new rules extend to buffaloes as well, which also provide half of the nation's milk. "So do markets and fairs and also trade and commerce", she said.

"Meat supplies will very soon grind to a halt in India and overseas if either the government does not repeal this draconian order or a court does not step in", Qureshi said.

The trial of senior BJP leaders will raise fresh questions about Hindu nationalism within Modi's party at a time when critics accuse his supporters of trying to marginalize minority groups and redefine India as a Hindu nation.

He said the move amounts to "an intrusion into the rights of the states" in India's federal structure and violates the principles of the Indian Constitution.

According to details, Communist Party of India and Indian Congress Party arranged beef parties across Indian city, Kerala.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the centre was "encroaching upon state matters" with such orders. A number of states have bolstered punishments for crimes against cows since his election, including Gujarat, where killing the animal can earn a life sentence.

Modi's ascent to power in 2014 has spurred demands for a nationwide ban on cow slaughter by radical Hindu groups, who often resort to violence over the sacred animal.

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