Crying foul over the manner in which the state government ensured that cow slaughter at the Deonar abattoir could not resume even though the Bombay High Court (HC) had allowed the slaughter of cattle to continue until the government formally notified the Maharashtra Animal Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 1995, the Mumbai Suburban Beef Dealers Association has decided to protest on Monday.
After the Bombay High Court’s order on Tuesday that cow slaughter should be immediately stopped at the abattoir, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Mumbai Police evicted beef butchers the same night. The orders came after a right wing organisation approached the court, asking that beef butchering be immediately stopped at the abattoir following the state government’s ban on cow slaughter. The Association, however, submitted a writ petition in the court on Wednesday, and it was heard on Thursday. The HC subsequently stayed its own orders on Thursday and allowed the slaughter of cattle to continue until the government notified the Maharashtra Animal Prevention (Amendment) Bill.
The state government, however, circumvented the stay by publishing the notification in the official gazette on Thursday itself. The move has left the association fuming.
“Normally it takes 15 days for a new law to be published in the gazette. The state government has shown undue haste in publishing the notification in a few hours. This has left more than 1,000 people, working at Deonar abattoir, jobless. We have planned a protest at Azad Maidan on Monday,” said Mohammad Ali Qureshi, president, Mumbai Beef Dealers Association.
Dr Appasing Pawara, general manager, Deonar abattoir, said cow slaughter had now come to a stop following the notification. “Once the amended law was published in the government gazette, the HC’s stay was of no relevance. On Thursday, we sent back the cows to the traders,” he said.