WITH the state government’s crack down on illegal slaughterhouses, tension prevailed in Mughulpura area of Moradabad district on Wednesday, as local meat sellers threw pieces of meat in the air, which allegedly landed on some passersby and also scattered on the road.
Members of both Hindu and Muslim communities gathered at the spot, resulting in a clash-like situation. However, intervention of government officials and deployment of heavy police force managed to bring the situation under control. At least 90 people, mostly meat sellers, have been booked on charges of rioting and promoting enmity between groups on ground of religion.
The incident took place near Jama Masjid area when meat seller Iqbal Ahmeb, along with dozen others, reportedly started throwing pieces of flesh in the air. Passersby objected as the pieces fell on a few of them, leading to an altercation. “The group also raised provocative slogans as a mark of protest against government’s crack down against illegal slaughterhouses and meat shops,” said a police officer.
Circle Officer Poonam Mishra said: “Since there is a temple nearby, some people informed the police… A police team force rushed to the spot to find a group of over 70 to 80 people creating a ruckus. When asked why he was throwing meat in the air, Iqbal Ahmed said he was feeding birds. We have booked eight identified and 80 unidentified people on charges of rioting and promoting enmity between groups on ground of religion and also under Criminal Law Amendment Act and Animal Cruelty Act.”
“Iqbal had staged a demonstration outside Moradabad SSP office on Monday protesting against the closure of illegal meat shops… He had threatened to create tension if he was not allowed to run his illegal meat shop,” she added.