Maharashtra government draws opposition flak for banning sale of meat ahead of Jain festival

Mumbai/ New Delhi, Sept. 8 (ANI): Political parties on Tuesday criticised the Government in Maharashtra for banning the sale of meat and meat products for four days ahead of the Jain festival of Paryushan.

Unlike previous years, when the government used to ban the sale of meat for two days, the government had extended the ban by four days in Mumbai and eight days in neighbouring Thane district.

The government has come in for sharp criticism from slaughter houses as well as political parties who have dubbed the decision as “fascist”.

“We planned to put the ban for 18 days, but because Eid of Muslims is also falling on Paryushan festival of Digambar, so considering their religious sentiments we decided to put the ban for eight days,” said Geeta Jain, Mayor of Mira-Bhayandar municipality.

The Congress party slammed the Maharashtra government for transgressing into what it called personal choices.

“Question is not whether somebody should eat beef or not. Question is does the state have the right to transgress and intrude into personal choices? Is now Mr. Modi going to decide as to what I eat, what I wear, where I sleep, whom I meet, when do I open my mouth? If this is not fascism, then what else is it?” asked Congress leader Manish Tewari.

BJP legislator, Ashish Shelar, said the government can’t be faulted as the decision was taken by a municipality.

“Municipal Corporation is capable enough to take decision on its level. It is not the work of state government to tell how many days butcher houses should be open or not. There is no need for state government to interfere in this matter,” said Shelar.

Slaughter houses also slammed the government for extending the ban to four days from two days.

“Have we ever rejected the decision of municipality? They always told us to close for two days and we did it. Now if you tell us to close for 10 days, 15 days, then what will our children eat and what will the children of workers eat,” asked a butcher, Mohammad Rafiq Querishi.

The sale of meat will be stopped from September 11.

The Jain community will observe Paryushan from September 11 to September 18. (ANI)

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