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Featured Image: Representational photo. 

By A Newsman

Kolkata, 30 October: KOLKATA today joined the pro-beef protest by holding a beef party right on the street in the heart of the city at Esplanade area.

The beef party was organised by Bhasa O Chetana Samiti, a voluntary organisation that works for rational thinking.

The event was organised near The Statesman House from around 2 pm. The place is close to Chandni area largely inhabited by the Muslim community and beef dishes served by the eateries in the locality are popular among cross sections of people.

Taking part in the protest, former Mayor of Kolkata and CPI-M leader Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, now-Trinamool poet Subodh Sarkar and expelled CPI-M leader and MLA Abdur Rezzak Molla shared bites of beef as media cameras went on clicking.

In all, less than 100 people took part in the protest but remarkably, there was no major excitement either for or against the event.

“We have eaten beef today openly to stress that it is up to an individual to decide what he or she wants to eat. No group or political formation can diktat terms on this,” said both Bhattacharya and Sarkar. Bhattacharya further added that beef has been a cost effective source of nutrition to a large section of Indians and it should continue to be so.

MLA Molla said that people in countries in the Europe and the America that are categorised as developed, eat beef, pork, chicken, mutton even snakes. “There’s no reason to be believe that they would consume something that is injuries to health. Likewise, whoever wants to eat beef in India, they should be allowed to have it,” he said.

Taking a dig at the pro-beef protest, BJP West Bengal president Rahul Sinha said that by organising such an event, the protesters were actually trying to set a communal tune in Kolkata.

Former BJP leader and now Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy was however more scathing in his criticism. In response to a tweet about the Kolkata beef party, he responded by twitting: “Is beef a life-saving drug? Sometimes I get the impression some people think it is!”

West Bengal Pradesh Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that while he was on the same as regards the liberty of an individual to choose food, he did not see merit in holding a protest like this.

“Eating beef on the streets to make a point cannot be a form of protest. This might only create unnecessary tension and misunderstanding in the society,” Chowdhury said.