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?Tainted? food Friday sermon stuff

india Updated: Dec 16, 2006 02:26 IST
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CONCERN OVER the alleged use of porcine products in MNC foodstuff has moved from the Malwa region to the State capital. Clerics in Bhopal cautioned co-religionists against using packed or canned edible substances bearing the numbers E101 to E-904 during Friday sermons at over 20 mosques.

The warnings were issued at some of the most prominent mosques including Moti Masjid, Tolwali Masjid, Mohammedi Masjid and the mosque at Ibrahimpura in the heart of the Walled City.

The Hindustan Times first broke the story about the Friday pulpit being used for issuing a call to boycott MNC foods in the Malwa region. Earlier, after lab tests confirmed the presence of beef gelatin in imported candies being sold in the City, the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) had written to Union Health Minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss questioning the advisability of importing gelatin-laced chocolate into a country where consumption of meat remains a queasy subject and demanded a ban on such products.

“There have been intermittent reports in the past, including a comprehensive list posted on-line, about MNCs using cow and pig produce. It was, therefore, decided to caution Muslims against the use of such items through sermons at all mosques where Friday prayers are held,” said Jamiat Ulema (MP) spokesperson Nasrullah Yusufzai over the phone from Bhopal.

“A press statement to this effect will also be released by the Jamiat on Saturday so that the matter is brought before the largest number of people possible,” he added.

Ire at the reported lacing of canned and packed goods with taboo meat, however, is not restricted to the minority community alone. The Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), too, is learnt to have pitched in to support the clerics’ boycott call. “Ramesh Porwal, the national convener of the SJM, called up (Bhopal) Mufti Abdur Razzaq to express concern over the possibility of cow and pig bones being used in ketchup, jam and chocolate,” informed Yusufzai.

“He assured the mufti that the Manch will provide all possible support to the Jamiat in its campaign for banning import of processed or packed edible substances containing non-vegetarian ingredients,” he added.

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