The Deonar slaughterhouse will remain shut on Sunday, April 9, owing to Mahavir Jayanti, states a press note issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday. According to the civic body, no slaughter of any kind will be allowed in the premises as the festival is also celebrated as Ahimsa Divas (non-violence day). Yogesh Shetye, general manager at the abattoir said, “It is a normal practice to shut the slaughterhouse. The sale of meat will not be affected as dealers will stock up a day before.” Apart from Mahavir Jayanti — an important religious festival of the Jains — the BMC shuts the slaughterhouse for Gandhi Jayanti and four days of Paryushan (an eight-day Jain festival that falls in August or September).
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government is preparing to challenge the Bombay high court’s order, which states that the state government has no statutory powers to direct municipal bodies to close slaughter houses and meat shops on any particular day.
Minister of state for home Ranjit Patil said the state would challenge the high court’s decision in the Apex Court on Saturday. Patil was replying to concerns raised by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Mangalprabhat Lodha in the lower house. “For the first time, slaughterhouses and meat shops in Mumbai will be open even during Mahavir Jayanti. The tradition of shutting meat shops on this occasion was followed even during the Mughal regime. The high court’s directive insults religious sentiments,” Lodha said.
Earlier that day, a delegation of party legislators met chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and demanded that he intervene and resolve the matter. The legislators said Fadnavis agreed to their demand.