Govt withdraws Minority Affairs Ministry circular on meat



New Delhi: The government has withdrawn a circular issued by Minority Affairs Ministry that cow meat is a source of iron nutrients and will conduct a probe into how the "mistake" occurred.

Amid uproar by Opposition members on the issue in Rajya Sabha, Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan expressed regret over the mistake saying it occurred in translation.

"The moment it came to my notice, I ordered withdrawal of the circular," he said.

According to Khan, the circular was issued by Ministry of Minority Affairs that beef was a source of iron nutrients adding that it was published by a government agency and somehow beef was wrongly translated into cow meat.

"I have ordered withdrawal of all publications and issued a press release that it is a mistake of translation. I regret it," he said.

"I am inquiring into the matter, which was brought to my notice by a Lok Sabha member only three days back. We have taken a serious note of it. I will inquire into it in detail," he added.

Earlier, raising the issue, Prabhat Jha (BJP) said the circular which stated that cow meat was a source of haemoglobin was against Indian sentiments, culture and beliefs.

He said Indian tradition was against cow slaughter and many states have banned it and demanded to know whether the circular was part of a conspiracy to hurt the sentiments.

"Ask the scientists to verify the fact and government should immediately punish the guilty," he demanded.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla intervened saying there was no such issue.

PJ Kurien, who was in the chair, however, said the member was permitted by the chair to raise the issue. Many BJP members associated with the demand.

PTI