THE SANT Kabir Nagar administration has claimed it cannot lift its ban on animal sacrifice (qurbani) in the district, as it will lead to a new tradition. This is in response to the National Commission of Minorities (NCM) seeking a report from the administration over its decision to ban animal sacrifice during Bakr Eid in the district’s Musahar village.
The NCM had issued a notice to Sant Kabir Nagar District Magistrate Dr Saroj Kumar on September 14, seeking a report within 14 days. The notice was sent on the complaint of expelled SP leader from Maharashtra, Farrooq Ghosi, who was in news for requesting party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to nominate Rahin Memon — widow of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yaqub Memon, who was hanged — to the Rajya Sabha.
Around 15 days ago, Ghosi who runs an organisation called Uttar Pradesh State Human Rights Organisation, had visited Musahar in Mehdawal tehsil and submitted a memorandum to the district administration asking for permission to slaughter animals during Bakrid.
He had claimed that police forcibly takes away goats belonging to Muslims, only to release them three days after the festival. Ghosi also alleged that administration was targeting religious freedom of Muslims as it was influenced by Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath’s outfit Hindu Yuva Vahini.
“The district administration is harassing local villagers to ensure that I withdraw my complaint. But I will go to the village on September 20 and lead a march of Muslims against the district administration,” Ghosi told The Indian Express.
When contacted, the DM said: “We have received a letter from NCM seeking a report into the issue. We have sent a reply, saying that there is no tradition of animal slaughter in the village. Any new tradition cannot be started and hence, permission cannot be given.”
He added that animal slaughter was done for first time in Musahar in 2007. “The Hindu community strongly objected to this and riots has started following a clash. The administration had struck a compromise between the two communities… An agreement was signed by both the groups that there will be no animal sacrifice in the village. Since then, permission for animal sacrifice is not given… Muslims are free to offer animal sacrifice outside the village but not in Musahar,” Dr Saroj Kumar said.
Over seizure of animals from Muslims, he claimed this was a part of preventive steps that are taken to avoid any untoward incident.
Blaming Ghosi for trying to make this an issue, Kumar said: “We have learnt that he has announced a protest march on September 20. If he seeks permission for the march, we are ready to allow him to hold a peaceful protest but if it disturbs communal atmosphere, we will not allow it.”