To avoid alleged harassment and financial losses,the Quresh Jamat (butchers) in Saurashtra has pledged not to slaughter cows. The jamat has threatened social boycott of those community members found violating its order.
This comes close on the heels of enactment of an Act banning cow slaughter in the state.
The announcement by the community,which dominates retail meat business in the region,came during its first-ever mass marriage ceremony held in Jamnagar on Sunday. Among others,the jamat had invited the district superintendent of police,local mayor and a few MPs to the event.
We have pledged on Godarshah Wali,our saint and a figure of strong faith for our community… This underlines how serious the community is to completely ban cow slaughter, said Quresh Jamat president Maksud Osman Sherji.
Sherji maintained that they would punish those caught slaughtering or selling cow meat. Besides social boycott,the punishments include heavy monetary fine.
He said said the community has always avoided cow slaughtering to respect public sentiments,particularly after campaigns by the Jiv Daya Group. And,he said,the decision was taken in the wake of increasing clashes with this group and several police complaints,which they said are baseless.
We are under attack from several quarters religious groups,Jiv Daya Group,political parties and the police. Frequency of attacks by the groups and police raids has increased after the state Assembly passed a Bill for cow protection last year, said Sherji.
He said clashes with activists and police raid mean financial losses to the tune of Rs 1 to 2 lakh. Also,he said,a butcher often failed to prove that it was not cow meat. Besides,some clashes with the Jiv Daya Group had turned violent and left many people injured.
The community is not in a position to incur further losses, Sherji said,adding that by their pledge,they want to assure the law enforcing agencies as well as public at large that there would be no slaughtering by their community in the future.
The community has a significant presence in this part of the state,particularly in Jamnagar city,Khambhalia and Lalpur.