Agitating meat sellers and exporters in Uttar Pradesh are meeting Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday in an effort to end their strike which has entered the fourth day affecting the livelihood of millions.
The traders have been striking against the state government crackdown on the abattoirs, resulting in closing down of scores of them.
The traders' meeting with the chief minister comes after all their earlier efforts to find a solution to their problmes remained inconclusive.
The traders had held talks with state health minister Siddhartha Nath Singh on Tuesday but there was no positive outcome.
"We have noted all the issues raised by them with an open mind. The Uttar Pradesh government will not allow anything illegal to happen," Singh was quoted as saying in a report by PTI. He, however, claimed to have directed officials not to act with over-zealousness or overstep their jurisdiction.
The office-bearers of the associations have submitted a memorandum to the state government.
"The strike called by mutton-sellers would continue at least till the end of Navaratra (April 5). It may be extended further depending upon the outcome of talks," Mubeen Qureshi, an office-bearer of Lucknow Bakra Gosht Vyapar Mandal said on Wednesday.
Singh on Wednesday reiterated that the government is acting only against illegal abattoirs.
"We are acting only against illegal abattoirs. Licenced slaughter houses are requested to stick to the norms. The licenced slaughter houses should comply with the norms mentioned in the licence and need not to fear. No orders have been issued to take any action against any shop selling chicken, fish or eggs," he said.
The minister, however, insisted that that if officials want to check the licence of meat shops, there was "nothing wrong" in it. "We are acting as per the provisions of the law and not on the basis of any pre-conceived notions," he said.
The sale of fish, egg and chicken was normal in the state capital but mutton lovers continued to be disappointed. As the hindu festival of 'Navratras' has begun, the demand for non-vegetarian food is expected to relatively come down for the next few days.
As the industry leaders push ahead with their meeting, here's a look at the story of Uttar Pradesh meat industry in numbers:
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Mar 30, 2017 16:54 PM