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District collector gets notice over beef, pork ban at biryani fest in Tamil Nadu’s Tirupattur

The biryani fest was postponed citing ‘forecast of heavy rains’ but not before Tirupattur Collector Amar Kushwaha was pulled up by the Tamil Nadu State Commission for SC/ST.

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New Delhi: The controversy over the exclusion of beef and pork from a Briyani fest in Tamil Nadu’s Ambur deepened as the state’s Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes sent a notice to Tirupattur’s district collector slamming the move as “discrimination” against Dalits and Muslims, even as the event was postponed Thursday citing forecast of heavy rains.

Earlier, a row had broken out as Tirupattur Collector Amar Kushwaha said that the ‘Ambur
Biryani Tiruvizha’, which was slated to be held from 13-15 May at Ambur Trade Centre, would have more than 20 varieties of biryani at over 30 stalls but they won’t include
beef and pork biryanis.

The move was criticised by Islamic and Dalit outfits, including ruling-DMK ally Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), which disapproved of the ban on these meats. VCK leaders said their party would distribute beef for free to people opposite the fest venue if district officials didn’t allow the meat.

“This Commission has chosen to take up the matter for inquiry as a practice of untouchability against the SC/ST and Muslim population, who account for more than 2 lakh of the population [in Ambur],” the Commission said, reported The Hindu.

The Commission also asked the Collector why the decision should not be viewed as “discrimination on communal basis” and action initiated for such an “official discrimination”.

Meanwhile, Kushwaha said the notice was “null and void” as the programme has already been postponed.

According to an Indian Express.com report, the Collector said the event was being deferred due to forecast of heavy rains and a meeting would be held with officials later to decide the time and date of the festival.


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