The Indore civic body has banned the sale of meat and fish during three days of Hindu and Jain religious festivals this month as Madhya Pradesh joined a growing list of states to order the prohibition amidst a countrywide debate over freedom of choice.
The Indore Municipal Corporation commissioner Manish Singh said on Sunday that all slaughter houses, mutton and fish markets, hotels and restaurants serving non-vegetarian food have been asked to remain closed on September 17 (Ganesh Chaturthi), September 18 (Paryushan Parva Samvatsari) and September 27 (Anant Chaturdashi).
Several BJP-ruled states have already issued meat ban orders, ranging from two days to a week this month, triggering angry outbursts from political parties and minority organisations which have said that the prohibition curtailed individual freedom to eat according to their choice.
Even the BJP’s ally in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena, has opposed the ban and party workers have held demonstrations across Mumbai to protest the prohibition.
A ban on cow slaughter and sale of beef in the Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir, ordered by the Jammu high court, has also led to intermittent violence this week.
The Indore municipal commissioner added that the directive was issued on September 12.
“It is purely an administrative decision taken in view of the religious sentiments of many people. It is meant to avert any untoward incident during the festival,” Singh said.
The civic body in Indore, the state’s commercial capital, is controlled by the BJP.