After beef ban, Hindu groups force Indian abattoirs to close

Published: March 4, 2015
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

MUMBAI: Members of a Hindu nationalist group have forced several abattoirs in the Indian state of Maharashtra to shut after a law was passed banning the beef trade there, a leader of the group and a lawyer for meat traders said on Wednesday.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad, or World Hindu Council, a nationalist group linked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party, acted after winning a court order to stop the killing of bulls and bullocks.

“Members of the VHP came to Deonar abattoir late at night and asked us to stop the slaughter, showing the copy of the High Court order,” said Mohammad Ali Qureshi, president of the Bombay Suburban Beef Dealers Association.

Deonar, on the outskirts of Mumbai, is India’s largest abattoir. The beef trade is mainly controlled by minority Muslims, raising concern that the ban is driven by Modi loyalists pursuing a Hindu agenda.

President Pranab Mukherjee last week gave his assent to the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Bill, which had been pending for 20 years, extending a ban on the killing of cows, considered sacred by Hindus, to bulls and bullocks. The law calls for up to five-years jail for anyone found in possession of beef, according to media reports.But the state government – led by a Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party – said it could take a week to implement the law, prompting the VHP to petition the Bombay High Court on Tuesday for an immediate ban.

Read: Indian president approves ban on beef in Maharashtra

“Why wait for another 5 to 6 days, just for paper formalities and the final draft?” asked Vyankatesh Abdeo, all-India secretary of the VHP. “If we would have waited thousands of cattle would have been slaughtered.”

Attacks on the trade have intensified in Maharashtra since the BJP came to power 10 months ago. Modi himself criticised the previous government for promoting a “pink revolution to butcher cattle and export meat”.

Acting on the VHP’s appeal, Justice V M Kanade on Tuesday ordered the state to ensure that killing of bulls and bullocks is stopped, according to a copy of the order seen by Reuters. Meat centres across the state, including Deonar, have stopped operating, said Sagheer Khan, a lawyer for All Maharashtra Cattle Merchant Association.

Up to 95 percent of the large-sized cattle slaughtered in Deonar were bulls or bullocks, with the rest being water buffaloes, whose killing is legal. Beef dealer Qureshi said the ban would cost many jobs and push up prices of buffalo meat.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Pity
    Mar 4, 2015 - 4:05PM

    Another feather in the cap of secular India.Recommend

  • Mar 4, 2015 - 4:11PM

    Modi, sadly is an extremist. Everyone knows this.
    Regardless of how much he denies it. He has a
    Hindu Supremacy agenda. the BJP extremist wing
    RSS is mainly behind these terrorists activities.Recommend

  • zara haq
    Mar 4, 2015 - 4:16PM

    Indians cry muslims are poor and we are not developed because of them bla bla, no indian geniuses wrote that here and now they are kiling jobs and businesses. Now modi wil give new jobs to them.
    But this is india. Here poverty is more cherished than a proper day jobRecommend

  • Manoj
    Mar 4, 2015 - 5:34PM

    As an Indian I condemn such stupid actions of VHP and other affiliated groups. Such actions are hardly our priority and needlessly give a communal color to the whole incident.Recommend

  • Rumormonger
    Mar 4, 2015 - 6:50PM

    You should be able to practice your religion at all levels.Recommend

  • Timorlane
    Mar 4, 2015 - 8:57PM

    To me frankly everyone should be given the right to choose his menu from pork to beef to vegetables like is the case in Muslims countries such as Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia etc.Recommend

  • someone
    Mar 4, 2015 - 10:03PM

    Good move by VHP. I think those abattoirs were not aware of the High Court decision and VHP helped to make them aware so that they don’t get caught in doing something illegal and get trapped into police cases etc. Recommend

  • akshay
    Mar 17, 2015 - 7:30PM

    don’t bring religion into this. Killing of animals to satiate your taste buds is not warranted especially in a country which serves exceptional vegetarian dishes. I agree the move is targeted at a particular animal alone and hence might carry a sense of religious overtone. but the end result, you are encouraging vegetarianism. Crying for the lost jobs is like crying for lost livelihood of goons and thugs who get caught by the law for illegal activities. They are jobless now because they were involved in a morally illegal act. Period…Recommend

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