The Executive Magistrate of Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh has ordered the removal of the word ‘beef’ from the restaurants in the city, citing religious issues.
The magistrate’s order said that the district administration of Itanagar Capital Region believes in the secular spirit of the Indian Constitution but such open display of the word ‘beef’ on the signboards of hotels and restaurants may hurt the sentiments of some sections of the community and may create animosity between different groups.
Clarifying the now viral order directing all hotels and restaurants to remove signboards with the word ‘beef’ on them, the extra assistant commissioner (EAC) of Naharlagun town, Tamo Dada, on Thursday said the order was issued by his office as a “preventive measure so that the people do not make a religious issue out of it in the future”.
“The people should not get confused with the order as there is no ban on beef consumption,” Dada said, adding that a verbal complaint was received from “a group of people stating that such signboards hurt the religious sentiments of the Hindu community”.
However, Dada did not divulge any details about the “group of people” who filed the complaint.
He, however, denied that the complainants had linkage to any hardline political or religious group.
“The Hindus do not consume beef as it is against their religion and they also consider the cow to be a sacred symbol of life that should be protected and revered. Moreover, nowhere in the country would you see hotels and restaurants openly flaunt beef signboards even though they serve the meat,” Dada said.
Hotel and restaurant owners can use other words or their names which would help people understand that they serve beef without hurting the religious sentiments of others, he added.