Ordered to be shut by HC, LMC kept slaughterhouses running
As per record, the three slaughter houses in Motijheel, Fatehganj and Maulviganj areas were sealed soon after the high court order.lucknow Updated: Mar 29, 2017 13:02 IST
While the hullaballoo over meat began on the day Yogi Adityanath took over as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, the meat trade in Lucknow was being run illegally ever since the high court ordered closure of three abattoirs on March 11, 2015.
As per record, the three slaughter houses in Motijheel, Fatehganj and Maulviganj areas were sealed soon after the high court order.
However, the fact remains that all these abattoirs kept on operating illegally right under the patronage of Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) staff.
Or how else around 600 meat sellers, who claimed to have the licence, continued to get their certified meat as usual?
When Hindustan Times met these vendors, it was found that not just the goats and buffaloes were being slaughtered in all three abattoirs, there were being done in the presence of the LMC staff.
As per rules, it is mandatory for the LMC staff to check the health of animals, certify them as fit for human consumption and put on a stamp before and after the slaughter and skinning of the animal.
In fact, the rules says that LMC veterinary officer (a veterinary doctor) must stamp the meat with a special ink in three different places so as to ensure that only legal and fit meat is put on sale for human consumption.
“These stamps not only ensure the safe transportation of meat but also increase the market value of meat and relieves the meat trader from paying bribes to the police on the way to market from the place of slaughter,” said a mutton trader of Udaiganj locality.
Interestingly, the inking process isn’t free.
“For every goat and buffalo, we have been paying the fees of Rs 10 and Rs 20 respectively,” claimed a meat seller.
As per an estimate, around 1,500 goats are slaughtered per day in Lucknow.
This again leads to a question that how LMC, which on record, has only one veterinary doctor for the purpose, was managing the clearing of over 1,500 goats per day, that too at different places.
“The licenced meat sellers are allowed to slaughter animals in their own shops and our staff members used to certify these animals,” admitted chief veterinary officer Dr AK Rao.
He, however, could not give a satisfactory reply on how LMC was managing to certify the health of animals without staff.
And how come the glaring anomaly was never detected by higher officials like municipal commissioner.
Not willing to come on record, the LMC officials refused to answer queries as to why and how the trade continued after high court ban.
Also, why was LMC collecting the slaughtering fee from mutton traders and where was the money going, if not to the LMC coffers.
In Jan, LMC sought time from HC to survey shops
Highlighting the anomalies and non-compliance of high court order in letter and spirit, a resident Amit Kumar had filed an appeal of contempt of court in high court on January 25 this year.
Yet again, the high court ordered the district administration, police and the LMC to remove slaughter shops running without license on highways, roadside, residential colonies and other lanes in Lucknow.
The bench of Justice AP Sahi and Justice Sanaji Harkauli also directed the authorities to publish slaughtering rules every quarter.
The LMC counsel Shailendra Singh Chauhan told the court that the civic body was taking steps to set-up modern slaughter houses at various zones in the city as all the meat vendors cannot come to a centralized slaughter house daily. He admitted that many slaughter shops are still functional on the roadside in violation of the rules. The corporation sought time from the court to conduct a survey of such shops.
However, the LMC waited to act till the day chief minister ordered action against such so-called illegal slaughter houses.