Roasted over meat ban, J&K, Maha feel the heat

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member
Two states have landed themselves in a meaty row: While in J&K a law banning cow slaughter being brought out from the deep freeze by the HC today led to a rash of angry reactions from separatists, in Maharashtra the High Court observed that banning meat and chicken sale for the four-day fasting of the Jains appeared unfeasible.
The J&K separatists dubbed the court verdict as “politically motivated and a one having the potential to create communal tension”. They have called their supporters to “openly slaughter bovines” during forthcoming Eid-ul-Azha.
Activists of the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) came out on the streets in various parts of Mumbai to defy the ban on the sale of meat and chicken. They also set up makeshift stalls at several places to sell live chicken as a mark of protest.
At the main market at Dadar in Central Mumbai, the police detained several MNS activists after they began selling live chicken. “The police are taking away our people in vans but we will continue with our protests,” MNS corporator Sandeep Deshpande said.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had banned the sale of meat for four days — September 10, 13, 17 and 18 — during the fasting ritual of the Jain community.
The Bombay High Court, acting on a petition by the Bombay Mutton Dealers Association challenging the ban, today asked the Maharashtra government and the BMC to file a response as to whether there had always been a ban on the sale of mutton during the fasting days of the Jains. “The concept of sale seems to be the issue here. What happens if it is available from other sources...? What about packaged meat that is already available in the market? Will that be banned?” asked the Division Bench comprising Justice Anoop Mohta and Justice AA Sayed. “An eight-day straight ban can’t be a formula. Mumbai is a modern city,” the judges said.
In Srinagar, hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani has called for a shutdown across Kashmir after the Friday prayers to protest the J&K HC’s order on cow slaughter.
The Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Mutahida Majlis Ulama, an amalgam of Kashmir-based religious groups, said, “The government, the administration and the judiciary are unnecessarily interfering in the religious matters of the people.”
The Kashmir High Court Bar Association has also decided to challenge the “constitutional validity” of the court’s order. “The ban violates the fundamental rights of the people. Before passing the order, the High Court should have given an opportunity to all sections to present their side,” the Bar said.