RV Babu, general secretary, Hindu Aikya Vedi, Kerala, has been arrested by Kerala police for allegedly calling for a boycott of a bakery that sells halal food.
The Hindu Aikya Vedi and the RSS have been on a major campaign in Kerala against Halal certification. Halal certification has been made compulsory in various food joints and provision shops by a section of the populace. The Hindu Aikya Vedi had come out against this with a counter campaign. Questioning whether Kerala is an Islamic state for initiating police case against those who speak against Halal, BJP Kerala President said, “The CPM and the Kerala Chief Minister are trying to appease Islamic fundamentalists and this has been continuing in the state for several years.”
He further said that the CPM government aims at the assembly elections scheduled in May 2021. “this is blatant appeasement of the Islamic fundamentalists,” he added.
Hindu Aikya Vedi activists were arrested in January for opposing Halal Bakery
In January, Hindu Aikya Vedi activists had allegedly forced a bakery called ‘Mody’ to remove the ‘Halal’ sticker. As per reports, Arun Aravind, the organization’s Parakkadavu unit president, had visited the bakery. He asked for non-halal food, but the bakery informed him that they only serve halal food.
The organisation issued a notice to remove the tag, which went viral on social media. The police intervened and arrested Aravind and three others. A case was registered against them, after which they were released on bail. The organization has now intensified the campaign against halal branding and planning to seek a ban on such products and services.
As per the reports, he was arrested and then released on bail because he will appear before the court on February 8. As per the police’s statement, on January 29, a case was registered against him. A notice was served to him to take part in the investigation. However, he had failed to appear. “A case was registered on January 29, but since he had not appeared despite notice, we arrested him. He has been released on bail on the condition that he will appear before the court on February 8. Babu had, through social media, too urged the people to boycott the halal certification,” police said.
RV Babu has been charged under Section 153 A, which is non-bailable.
Christian groups against Halal
Ahead of Christmas, Christian groups in Kerala also called for a boycott of Halal meat. Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) of Kochi had urged Christians not to buy Halal food anymore. Hindu groups had extended support to the call. The Indian Union Muslim League had termed the campaign a controversy to target Muslims.
What is Halal meat?
Halal is a form of slaughter that is allowed in Islam. It can be performed only by a Muslim man. Thus, any place that offers Halal meat automatically denied employment to the non-Muslim community. There are guidelines available at the official website of a certification authority of Halal in India, which makes it clear that non-Muslim employees cannot be employed in any part of the slaughtering process.
The guidelines of the certification authority of Halal in India expressly mention that people employed to carry out the process of Halal must be Muslims. The guidelines clearly mention that animals slaughtered by a non-Muslim will not be Halal. Apart from halal meat, halal certification is also available for other products.