Haryana: Plea in HC against ‘biryani policing’ in Mewat

Underlining that it is only the meat of cow and its progeny that qualifies for ban, Haseen said “biryani policing” is a “brazen attempt to polarise communities and fuel sectarian violence”.

Written by Sanjeev Verma | Chandigarh | Updated: September 16, 2016 3:04 am
biryani, mewat, mewat biryani, biryani policing, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Haryana Gau Seva Ayog, Haryana government, haryana roadside vendors, roadside vendors, india news Children from Mewat families that earn their livelihood by selling biryani have Kheer on Bakrid. Express

A Mewat advocate Thursday moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking directions to the Haryana Gau Seva Ayog as well as the Haryana government for targeting roadside vendors in the district on suspicion that they served beef in biryani. Police had collected samples of the biryani from the vendors and sent them for testing.

Terming their action as “biryani policing” in a district that has significant Muslim population, advocate Haseen said collecting biryani samples from the vendors was not only “unconstitutional” but also aimed at “terrorising” the minority community ahead of the festival of Eid-Al-Adha or Bakrid.

Underlining that it is only the meat of cow and its progeny that qualifies for ban, Haseen said “biryani policing” is a “brazen attempt to polarise communities and fuel sectarian violence”.

It has been submitted that the Haryana Gau Seva Ayog’s order is a clear violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution under Articles 14, 19, 21 and 25. “It is also incompatible with the secular ideal enshrined in the Constitution and imbibed in the polity of our diverse, plural and multi-cultural society,” the petitioner has further stated.

Haseen has also sought directions to the Director, Food and Drugs Administration, Haryana to conduct a fair and impartial inquiry in the matter and also sought to know whether police had registered any DDR or FIR before collecting the samples and sealed them as per the norms. The petition would come up for hearing next week.

The petitioner has submitted that the Haryana Gau Seva Ayog was given more teeth with the formation of a specialised Cow Protection Task Force (CPTF) within the police, with the mandate of checking cow slaughter and consumption of beef that are crime in Haryana but not across India.

Putting forward the point that media reports have indicated that police have even been mulling carrying out checks in private residences, the petitioner has questioned, “which section of the Indian Penal Code allows the police to enter kitchens of private citizens on information given by other private citizens?”
It is further submitted”what if the complaint is found to be false? It would get the family marked out as beef ‘suspects’ regardless and thus make them vulnerable to violence by vigilantes for life….CPTF and the Commission intend to save cows but who will save their victims?”

The Haryana BJP government had in 2015 enacted the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gau Samvardhan Act, making cow slaughter punishable with rigorous imprisonment up to 10 years and a fine of Rs 1 lakh.