Sale of fish has gone up in Lucknow following an indefinite strike by traders in Uttar Pradesh to protest the Yogi Adityanath-led government’s clampdown on illegal butcher shops and mechanised slaughterhouses.
The crackdown was one of the first decisions taken by Yogi Adityanath, a Hindu hardliner who took over as the UP chief minister on March 19 after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept the state election.
Meat sellers, especially mutton vendors, kept their shops closed on Monday - the first day of their strike against the crackdown in UP, which accounts for nearly 50% of India’s total meat exports.
As non-vegetarians shifted to fish and eggs, the sudden change in food habits also spurred a minor rise in the price of fish in the local markets.
The rates of Rohu shot up to Rs 400 per kg from Rs 360 just a day before and the price of other fish, which ranged between Rs 120 to 160, shot up to Rs 180 to Rs 200 in the fish market at Qaiserbagh and Kanpur Road.
There was no change in the price of eggs (Rs 48 per dozen) in the wholesale market but the rates increased in the retail market.
Major non-vegetarian food outlets, including the famous Tunday Kababi, Idris, Wahid and Rahim’s, remained closed to express solidarity with meat traders. The closure of these eateries benefited small vendors selling eggs on roadside carts.
The demand for boiled eggs increased three-fold, said Kashif, an egg stall owner at Lalkuan.
Mutton and chicken sellers, who have pulled down their shutters, have warned the government of intensifying their stir.
“The meat sellers are worried over the irrational crackdown on slaughterhouses. This has created a shortage of beef in the market. Now butchers are afraid of slaughtering buffaloes and this has adversely hit their livelihood,” Mubeen Qureshi of the Lucknow Bakra Gosht Vypar Mandal said.
- There is no mechanised slaughterhouse in Lucknow
- Lucknow has 600 licensed mutton sellers
- There are 5 licensed beef sellers
- 1,500 goats and 25,000 chickens are slaughtered per day
“The government has only ordered action against illegal slaughterhouses and ban on cow smuggling but here officials are closing down shops selling chicken and mutton,” he added.
Deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma has assured meat sellers that action will be taken only against illegal slaughterhouses and meat sellers, not against licensed meat traders.
Chief veterinary officer Dr AK Rao also assured smooth trade to licensed meat traders but said those indulging in the illegal trade of meat would not be spared as this was directly connected with the health of the people.
Prices of vegetables are stable in all major market in the city.