Mewat may be in the news for the alleged sale of beef biryani in the district, which is home — along with Palwal and Faridabad — to 69.21 per cent of Haryana’s Muslim population, as per the 2011 Census.
But are there enough cattle in this south-eastern belt of Haryana that can allow for a roaring business in beef, and make the collection of biryani samples from street vendors a top law-and-order priority?
Haryana, as it is, has a relatively low population of cattle — cows, bulls, bullocks and female as well as male calves. According to the 2012 Livestock Census, cattle constituted barely 23 per cent of the state’s bovine population, with buffaloes making up the remaining 77 per cent. Across the country, on the other hand, cattle have an almost 64 per cent share of the overall bovine animal numbers.
But it’s even more interesting for Mewat, Palwal and Faridabad, which figured among four of Haryana’s 21 districts with the lowest cattle population in the last Livestock Census. The district with the least number of cattle, at a mere 24,079, was Panchkula. But this is a predominantly urban district not having too many buffaloes, either (68,939).
Mewat, on the other hand, had just 33,996 cattle, as opposed to 2.28 lakh buffaloes. It was likewise for Palwal, whose cattle did not make up even 12 per cent of the district’s total bovine animal population.
In such a scenario, where there aren’t too many cattle to slaughter in the first place, the sale of buffalo-meat biryani would obviously make far more economic sense. And with the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Act of 2015 that imposes up to ten years imprisonment for cow slaughter, selling beef biryani in the open would be dangerous apart from being unlikely and impractical.