PANAJI: Beef importers and sellers continued their strike for the third consecutive day on Monday with no signs of immediate relief. Stating that their losses were mounting, the meat traders said that they have now pinned their hopes on government intervention. The traders told media that the government should give them guarantee that they would not be harassed in future by non-state operators. They also sought freedom from high-handedness of cow vigilantes or Gau Rakshaks. Beef importers have claimed that Gau Rakshaks were taking law into their hands even in the presence of police and sprinkling phenyl on meat brought by them from the neighbouring state. They also alleged rather than allowing the state officials to do their duty, the vigilantes were the ones who were declaring the meat unfit for consumption.
They also said that in the recent past, animals worth lakhs of rupees were released from the custody of Goa Meat Complex by the vigilantes and the state officials preferred to remain mum on the issue. “Who will help us tide over the losses?” they asked.
The traders said that they were ready to cooperate with the government officials on the issue and carry out their business as per government rule. “The legality of our business, fitness of animals brought for slaughter and quality of meat brought by us should be checked by the government officials and not members of the vigilante groups,” they said.
They accused the police of protecting the vigilantes who take the law into their hands. They went on to add that the genuine certificates issued by the government-approved veterinary doctors from Karnataka were being held invalid off late and they were being harassed. “For years, we have been importing meat from the neighbouring state but it is only of late that they are finding our process faulty,” they said further.