No beef, mutton in Mumbai for four days: City's civic body imposes ban due to Jain fast
Following demands made by BJP legislators and Jain organisations, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has banned meat in Mumbai for four days during the Jain fasting season of Paryushan.
Mumbai: Giving in to demands made by BJP legislators and Jain organisations, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has banned meat in Mumbai for four days during the Jain fasting season of Paryushan. The Jain community will observe Paryushan from 11 September to 18 September. The BMC’s ban comes days after the BJP-ruled Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation banned meat sale for eight days during the fasting season.
"On these days, BMC slaughter houses will be shut and sale of meat will also be prohibited. The civic body's market department has been asked to enforce the ban and ensure no animal is slaughtered and no meat is sold anywhere in the city," said a senior civic official adding that if the ban is violated, stern action will be taken.
However, the official added that the ban will not affect sale of fish and other sea food. The sale of chicken meat will also not be prohibited.
Atul Bhatkhalkar, general secretary of BJP, other BJP leaders and several Jain organizations had written to the BMC demanding an eight-day ban on the sale of meat. While the BMC usually restricts slaughter and sale of meat for two days during Paryushan, this year it enforced the four-day ban — 10, 13, 17 and 18 September — across Mumbai. The decision to enforce the ban was taken by BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta.
Officials explained that the decision to ban sale of meat has been taken based on corporation resolutions passed in 1964 and 1994 and the state government’s 2004 resolution on the issue.
"As per the two corporation resolutions, we can ban sale of meet for two days. Apart from this, the state government, in its 2004 resolution, has directed us to ban the sale for two days. So, while taking the decision on banning the sale of meet during Paryushan, we use our discretion to decide the number of days for banning the meat. This year, we decided to ban it for four days," said the official.
Another official said that the BMC, ruled by Sena-BJP combine, was under pressure to impose a ban for at least four days following the decision taken by Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation.
The BJP has welcomed the civic body's decision.
“We had asked the BMC to put an eight day ban during Paryushan. We also had held a meeting with the Municipal Commissioner on the issue. It is a victory for us that the BMC has approved a four-day ban. This does not hurt the sentiments of the Jain community,” said a senior BJP leader on condition of anonymity.
This is not the first time that the BJP has asked for ban on sale of meat in Mumbai during the Paryushan period. While party leaders have been demanding it for the last couple of years, their demand was met with stiff opposition from its partner the Shiv Sena and other political parties earlier.
However, the Congress has slammed the BJP and has termed the decision as 'anti-democratic'.
“The ban is anti-democratic. The BMC has buckled under pressure from the BJP. The government should not take any decision to please a particular religious community and should function as per constitution,” said Sanjay Nirupam, former MP and president of Mumbai Congress unit.
The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has also hit out at the BJP over the issue. MNS’s group leader Sandeep Deshpande has called the BJP as ‘Bharatiya Jain Party’ for getting the meat ban enforced.
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