Meat traders of the district announced a 10-day strike on Tuesday in wake of the statewide crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses.
The wholesale poultry, fish and eggs market will remain closed during the strike. There are 14 such markets in the district that will not operate till April 6. The crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses and unregistered shops began in the state a day after Yogi Adityanath took oath as the chief minister.
“The strike has been announced to show solidarity with the cause of meat sellers across UP who are in crisis after the recent drive,” said Iftikhar Quraish, member, All-India Jainul Quraish.
The organisation represents the Quraishi community, which owns majority of the meat trade in the district. “We are not against the drive against illegal meat or cow slaughter, but the injustice being done to our community in its (campaign’s) name,” added Iftikhar.
Several traders, especially those who sell buffalo meat, have alleged that police and local goons have started harassing them since the drive started.
Most of these complaints have been reported from rural areas.
“We have to give as much as Rs 1,000 per animal to the policemen who stop our vehicles on way to the slaughterhouse. The cops ask for money even if we show them proper documentation,” alleged Md Salman, 38, a meat trader of Bahedi area.
While the traders are allegedly harassed by policemen, meat shop owners are targeted by goons.
“They accuse us of selling cow meat and create a ruckus. If we refuse to pay, they lodge false report and our meat is seized,” said Usman Quraishi, a meat shop owner in Faridpur who sells buffalo meat.
At least seven such incidents have been reported across the district since last week. Though police have registered complaints in some cases against those causing ruckus, senior officials have denied that the situation is rampant.