Operations have been disrupted completely for the past few days because of an atmosphere of fear
Meat sellers across Uttar Pradesh (UP) launched an indefinite strike from Monday against the Adityanath government’s crackdown on illegal and mechanised slaughterhouses.
“We have decided to intensify our strike from tomorrow. All shops will remain closed. Fish sellers too have joined us and are extending support to us,” Lucknow Bakra Gosht Vypar Mandal office bearer Mubeen Qureshi had said on Sunday.
He said, in the wake of the crackdown, there was no question of the strike being called off anytime soon. “It will go on indefinitely,” he added.
Industry fears being butchered
Several butcher shops and slaughterhouses across the state have complained that they are being targeted under the new dispensation. “Authorities are even closing down chicken shops,” a shop owner in Noida told NDTV. Another said even legal abattoirs were asked to hang curtains in front of their stores, while others alleged that the new administration was not willing to issue fresh licenses or renew the old ones.
As reported earlier, operations have been disrupted completely for the past few days because of an atmosphere of fear across the supply chain, since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed the government in the state after winning a historic mandate, with Yogi Adityanath as chief minister. One of the party’s election promises was shutting down illegal slaughterhouses.
So far, allegedly illegal meat shops have been shut down in Lucknow, Varanasi and Ghaziabad. Last week, three meat shops owned by Muslims were burned down in Hathras.
Due to the strike, non-vegetarian food outlets, including the famous Tunday and Rahim’s have shifted to mutton and chicken dishes after buffalo meat became scarce.
As the mouth-watering kebabs went off the platter, the owner of another famous eatery said the situation might force hoteliers to get mutton from Delhi. “But there will be no compromise on the quality of the food,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
At the same time, he supported the closure of illegal and mechanised slaughter houses in the state, saying it was difficult for a common man to pass through a locality where the slaughter houses were operating almost openly. He also alleged that the illegal abattoirs even indulged in slaughtering dogs.
Replying to a question, he said, “This is not a religious issue. In fact, it is directly linked to the health of people, who have the right to good quality of meat and fish.”