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Mehoob’s men block roads as beef shops open for business

Beef shops in Amroha opened after a fortnight on Sunday,with the district administration assuring them of protection against Sericulture and Textile Minister Mehboob Ali’s men.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published: April 17, 2012 5:02:57 am

Beef shops in Amroha opened after a fortnight on Sunday,with the district administration assuring them of protection against Sericulture and Textile Minister Mehboob Ali’s men.

The traders agreed to sell beef at Rs 90 a kg,which is Rs 10 less than the price at which they had been selling earlier.

However,on Monday,the minister’s supporters came out on the roads in protest,and blocked Bijnore road for two hours. They also clashed with the police. They said beef prices should not exceed Rs 70,as dictated by Ali.

The Qureshi community,that owns the beef shops,went on strike on April 1 after Ali issued a firman to reduce the rate from Rs 100 per kg to Rs 70 per kg. The traders said the price was uneconomical,but the minister threatened action against anyone who defied him.

The traders staged a protest and even submitted a memorandum to the administration,but the minister was unmoved. A delegation visited Lucknow to complain to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav,but could not get an appointment.

The district administration finally intervened on Saturday. At a meeting with Additional District Magistrate Nagendra Sharma,Jamiat-ul-Quresh,the organisation of Qureshis,agreed to sell beef at Rs 90 per kg. The administration asked them to open shops and assured them of police protection. On Sunday,the shops opened after 14 days.

But on Monday,the minister’s men disrupted traffic for two hours. “A handful of people are trying to foment trouble. If they think we are selling meat at a higher price,then they are free to purchase anywhere they get it cheaper,” said Khalid Qureshi,district president of Jamiat-ul-Quresh.

Ali denied any hand in the protests. “I am not aware of any protest in my city. I am not in Amroha,so I have no information about the protest,” he said.

When told that it was his firman that had led to closure of the shops,the minister said he had never pressurised anyone to reduce prices. “They are baseless allegations and I have no role in these petty issues,” he said.

Nagendra Sharma said the matter had been amicably resolved. “The shops are now opening. The rates too have been lowered and there is no problem. There was a small protest,but it was controlled by use of mild force,” said Sharma.

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