Indian Institute of Technology - Madras students hold a beef festival as an act of protest. Hindustan Times

A group of students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Madras held a beef festival at their campus to protest against the central government’s decision to ban the sale of cows for slaughter at animal markets.

Around 70-80 students calling for an end to “food fascism” took part in the event, where they ate beef curry and bread, ANI reported. 

Similar protests were held over the past few days in several parts of Kerala, where beef is considered a staple part of the local diet.

On May 26, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan invoked the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017,  to ensure that cattle is not sold for slaughter purposes. The term cattle, as defined by the rules, includes “bulls, bullocks, cows, buffalos, steers, heifers and calves and camels.”

The rules state that the purchaser cannot sacrifice the animal for any religious purpose or sell it to a person outside the state without permission, and must abide by the state’s cattle protection laws.

The IIT authorities have not taken any action against the students.