Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee on Monday suspended three Youth Congress workers who were held responsible for the public slaughter of a calf in Kannur, reported ANI. “Such elements have no place in Congress,” party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said. The party had initially said it was unclear whether the three were members or not.

KPCC chief MM Hassan said the three workers – Rijil Makkutty, president of IYC Kannur, Josey Kandathil and Sharafuddin – were suspended for organising the protest which was against “the culture” of the party, reported Deccan Chronicle. The party has sought an explanation about the incident from the Kannur District Congress Committee, he added.

On Saturday, beef eating festivals were organised across Kerala as part of its protest against the new rules notified by the Environment Ministry. The rules said anyone purchasing cattle has to provide an undertaking that the animals are bought for agricultural purposes and slaughter.

The accused had allegedly skinned the animal and distributed its meat among those present at the site. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi condemned the killing of the calf and said the incident was “thoughtless, barbaric and completely unacceptable”. On Sunday, following a complaint filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Yuva Morcha, the Kerala Police had registered a case against Rijil Makkutty and others.

The ban is likely to hit the export and leather industry. The new notification comes on the back of demands from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for the Centre to issue a law banning cow slaughter across the country. Cow slaughter is banned in most states, except for the North East and Kerala, but the slaughter of other bovine animals such as buffaloes is much more common.