The Rajasthan government on Thursday said the ban on sale of meat in the state in view of three-days of Jain festivals was an annual affair.
The Directorate of Local Bodies had issued an order last month, asking officials to ensure that all meat and fish shops and butcheries remain closed on September 17, 18 and 27.
The original order had erroneously ordered a ban on sale of liquor, too, on these days. Since the sale of liquor does not fall under the jurisdiction of local bodies, the directorate issued an amended order Wednesday.
But state officials said it is only meat shops and butcheries that are to remain closed; restaurants and eateries would be free to serve non-vegetarian food.
The 17th and 18th of September will be celebrated as Paryushan Parva (festival of forgiveness) and Samvatsari, respectively, by the Shwetambar Jain community, where as September 27 will mark the celebration of Anant Chaturdashi, celebrated by Jains as well as Hindus. A similar ban in Maharashtra has attracted considerable national outrage.
The Rajasthan government, also ruled by the BJP, however, defended its order saying it was issued every year. “The sale of meat is banned in the state during these days every year, regardless of which party is in power. Its an annual affair,” Purushottam Biyani, director of local bodies, told The Indian Express.