WHILE Mumbai will witness its annual ban on all meat for four days during the Jain festival of Paryushan, in neighbouring Mira-Bhayander town, a group of mutton and meat dealers, angered by an eight-day ban imposed on slaughter of animals and sale of meat, visited the municipal commissioner seeking the revocation of the ban.
“We will follow the ban for only two days like we observed last year in respect of the Jain religion. There is no way the slaughter will stop for eight days,” said Kasam Ali, a beef shop owner based in Mira Road.
The eight-day ban will cause his shop a loss of Rs 3.84 lakh, he estimated. He sells at least 200 kgs of buffalo meat daily, which costs Rs 240 per kg. According to him, all slaughter shops have unanimously decided to protest against the civic body’s decision. Like Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation, the BMC, Monday, passed a similar circular asking slaughterhouses to refrain from slaughter of chicken, goat and buffaloes for four days —September 10, 13, 17 and 18 — across Mumbai.The ban comes in deference to the Paryushan, observed by Jain community from September 11 to 18, during which Jains observe a fast.
The ban will affect small scale shops besides depriving non-vegetarians of meat and mutton during Paryushan.
In Mira-Bhayander, while there is no slaughterhouse, at least 600 shops will be forced to remain shut. “We have at least 500 meat shops, including 200 mutton shops, and 55 beef shops in this stretch. The shop owners depend on their daily sales. The eight day long ban will affect each shop that roughly sells 150 kgs daily,” said Liyaqat Qureshi, attached with Mira Bhayander Meat Association.
In Mumbai, while the slaughter workers or shop owners are not protesting, the displeasure is evident.
A circular was put up by the BMC at Deonar abattoir’s notice board Monday stating that the slaughterhouse will remain shut for four days. Mehmood Nawaz from the Bombay Mutton Dealer Association, claimed the ban was “government’s dictatorship”.
“Four years ago, we ourselves complied with a two day ban during this season. Slowly, the ban expanded to four days. The government’s intention to slowly ban slaughter of animals will now stretch to a full year it seems,” said Nawaz.
According to the circular issued by the BMC, there will also be a ban on poultry products, except eggs. The issue was also discussed in the general body meeting of the BMC Tuesday. Rais Shaikh, a Samajwadi Party corporator who raised a point of order on the issue, said, “Under what rights are licensed vendors going to be prohibited from selling what they have a license for? Who gives the rights to the municipal commissioner to decide what one eats? The ban is not right for the city. One party’s wishes cannot be entertained here.
Opposition leader and Congress corporator Devendra Amberkar supported the order and said that a ban that favours a certain section should not be implemented. Manoj Kotak, BJP group leader said, “Parties are making an issue out of nothing. The state government had issued a resolution in 2004. Why are they trying to show that the BJP government has brought this ban in effect when a circular was issued last year and nobody protested. We are not saying who should eat what.” Residents in Mumbai hope that while shops will remain shut they can either stock up a day before or visit restaurants for eating meat.
“In our area, restaurants offer non-vegetarian dishes. They keep it frozen in advance,” said Abdul Raza, a Bhendi Bazaar resident.
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