Nearly two weeks after city councillors in Bradford approved a meat plant near a gurdwara, leaders of the Sikh community are planning to invite leaders of other faiths to strengthen its fight against the move.
Members of the Sikh community are trying to get the backing of other faiths in their fight against the Bradford Area Planning Panel's decision to allow a meat factory next to the Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara in the city, one of the largest gurdwaras in northern England, the Telegraph & Argus of Bradford reported.
They also expressed apprehension that this precedent could affect other places of worship in future.
According to the report, the board of representatives of Bradford gurdwaras will also take legal advice on appealing against the decision.
The board questioned whether permission would be granted for a pork processing plant near a mosque or a synagogue, a beef plant next to a Hindu temple, or a lap-dancing club in front of a church.
"We have found the council's decision insensitive and very disappointing," Nirmal Singh, chairman of the board, was quoted as saying. "The board will seek further legal advice against the decision and we urge the owners of Pakeezah to withdraw their application in recognition that their proposal is most disrespectful to the gurdwara and thereby hurtful to Sikhs everywhere."
The city panel had on August 13 approved the construction of the meat plant of Pakeezah, a leading meat retailer of the city, at a disused car workshop close to the gurdwara.
Meanwhile, Pakeezah director Tariq Haq said work on the plant was going on. "The fact is that we're only moving a few yards from where our plant already exists, it's an existing business," Haq was quoted as saying. "They are not going to see what's happening and it's not going to affect the temple in any way, shape or form."
Prior to the panel's approval for the meat plant, local Sikhs had voiced fierce opposition to the plan, saying that meat odour would waft into the religious building. "Many of our people are strict vegetarians and the meat processing unit being so near to the temple is disrespectful and insensitive," Kuldip Bharj, secretary of the board of Bradford gurdwaras, had said.
"A butchery plant should be on an industrial estate rather than next to a place of worship and community centre where people will be exposed to the disgraceful smell and noise," gurdwara president Kuldeep Duley had been cited as writing in a letter to local planning officer Mohammed Yousef.