Union minister Ramdas Athawale condemned the alleged thrashing of a Muslim man in Nagpur district on the suspicion that he was carrying beef and said that everyone has the right to eat beef. He also called for severe punishment for “violent cow vigilantes”.

“Everyone has the right to eat beef. Since goat meat is expensive, people eat beef. I condemn the Nagpur incident. It is not right to become a ‘nar-bhakshak’ (man-eater) in the name of being a ‘gau-rakshak’ (cow protector),” said the Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, acording to a PTI report.

Expressing his disappointment over a spate of violent incidents under the name of cow protection, Athawale said that the cow vigilantes should not take the law into their hands.

“Such violent cow vigilantes should be punished,” he added.

Notably, a 31-year-old Muslim man, with links to the BJP, was brutally thrashed in public by alleged cow vigilantes on the suspicion that he was carrying beef in Maharashtra’s Nagpur district on July 12.

Meanwhile, speaking about NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, who is scheduled to visit Mumbai, Ramdas Athawale said, “He should visit ‘Matoshree’ and meet (Shiv Sena president) Uddhav Thackeray. Pranab Mukherjee had also visited ‘Matoshree’ when his candidature was announced (for the post of president).”

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Sources in the BJP had earlier said Kovind was not scheduled to visit Thackeray’s residence during his Mumbai visit.

This is not the first time when the union minister has courted controversy. Recently he was in the news for claiming that the Champions trophy final between India and Pakistan was fixed and demanded a probe into it.

Not only he accused the team of match fixing, but Athawale even went on to demand 25 percent reservation for Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe in the Indian Cricket Team.

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