Even as the state stares at a meat crisis, meat sellers across Uttar Pradesh on March 27 announced a state-wide agitation against the action by the government against slaughterhouses and mechanised abbatoirs.
The crackdown on slaughterhouses has adversely hit the livelihood of lakhs of people. Initially, a section of meat sellers have meat shops shop in protest, but now it has become a statewide strike. “We have decided to run the strike indefinitely. There is no question of it (strike) being called off anytime now. During the strike period, all meat (chicken, meat) shops will remain closed,” Mubeen Qureshi, of the Lucknow Bakra Gosht Vypar Mandal.
All the while, the state government has maintained that action was taken against illegal ones. But the police maintained that some people were closing shops since they don’t have renewed licenses.
Fish sellers too have extended support to the agitation called by the meat sellers. This also saw non-vegetarian recipes off the menu at many hotels. While this was so, some slaughterhouses complain that they are raided even they have licences.
In Noida, an hour’s drive from Delhi, butcher shops said their incomes had halved due to the crackdown. A meat shop owner said chicken shops are also being closed down. It looked as if the state government hesitated on the issue of renewing old licenses and issuing fresh ones. As people struggled to meet their meat requirements, fish emerged as the recourse.
Non-vegetarian restaurants in Uttar Pradesh have switched-over to mutton and chicken. Non-vegetarians cursed the ban, which threw a wrench in their wedding menus and Navaratra plans.