The Kerala government would again take up with the Centre issue of making Karipur International airport in Kozhikode the embarkation point for Haj pilgrims, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said today. "The government will impress upon the Centre in this regard," he said at a meeting of the representatives of various Muslim outfits here. Vijayan said the government was committed to the development and expansion of Karipur airport. The government is ready to acquire adequate land for the airport's expansion and local protests over acquisition has now decreased, he said. The Civil Aviation Ministry was also taking a favourable stand in terms of the airport expansion, the chief minister added. While referring to the Centre's recent ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets, Vijayan said the state government was not viewing the issue as connected to any particular religion but as a matter of the right of people to choose their food. He said secularism is facing serious threat at the national level and everybody should take a strong stand to safeguard this. Local self-government minister K T Jaleel was also present during the meeting along with the representatives of various Muslim outfits.
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