The Chhattisgarh government late on Friday night cut short its ban on sale of meat during the upcoming Jain festival from eight days to two, after several organisations openly came out against it.
The new directive issued by the urban administration department directed all civic bodies and municipalities to keep slaughter houses and meat shops closed for two days.
“The two days will be decided by the district collectors”, the order stated.
The government's earlier order had banned the sale of meat for eight days till September 18 in connection with the Jain festival Paryushan and Ganesh Chathurthi.
This is for the second consecutive year that Chhattisgarh had enforced a ban on meat sale during the Jain festival. The number of days for the ban was cut down to two in 2014 as well after some groups approached the high court.
The ban in Chhattisgarh came at a time when similar measures in Mumbai and Rajasthan evoked widespread criticism, including from the BJP's ally Shiv Sena.
Earlier, different political parties and social organisations launched a scathing attack on the government when it announced the 8-day ban.
“The state government's decision is unjustified...We respect all religions. Those who have any issue against meat should avoid going through the place where it is sold”, president of Muslim body Seeratun-Nabi Committee Nauman Akram Hamid told Hindustan Times.
The poultry association, mutton dealers and fisheries cooperatives were planning to challenge the government directive in court.
“What about those who earn their livelihood through the business of sale of mutton and fish on a daily basis. They are many who come from a poor economic background. What about their survival then”, said Abhishek Majhi of fisheries cooperative.
Opposing the ban, Congress spokesperson Shailesh Nitin Trivedi said, “Such strict imposition on sale of meat is not fair. The decision should have been taken amicably through consensus in consultation with every community”.
In Rajasthan government, the state government has ordered ban on sale of meat and fish on September 17 (Paryushan), 18 (Sanvatsari - another Jain festival) and 27 (Anant Chaturdashi).
While the ruling BJP in Maharashtra has defended the ban imposed by Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), the Sena as well as opposition MNS and Congress and the NCP have vehemently opposed it, alleging that the move was aimed at polarising voters and appease a section of society before the crucial MCGM polls in early 2017.
A similar ban has also been imposed by Mira-Bhayander and Navi Mumbai municipal corporations in Mumbai's adjoining Thane district.
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