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Meat shops in Rajasthan’s Tonk ordered to remain closed for Paryushan, Anant Chaturdashi

Eid-ul-Zuha festival falls on September 2. Large-scale sacrifice of goats and sheep are a feature of the festival.

Updated: Aug 31, 2017 00:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kota
A closed meat shop.(HT FIle Photo)

Like every year, the directorate of local self bodies (DLB) of Rajasthan issued two orders on July 24 and August 22 instructing all municipal bodies of the state to keep meat shops closed on August 25, August 26 and September 5, in view of the Jain festival of Paryushan and Hindu festival of Anant Chaturdashi.

The DLB would not have anticipated what followed: three municipal bodies in Tonk district have ordered meat shops in their respective areas to remain closed for 12 days in a row till September 5 -- and attributed the order to DLB.

This has landed the Muslim community and meat shops in a stew, as the community’s Eid-ul-Zuha festival falls on September 2. Large-scale sacrifice of goats and sheep are a feature of the festival. And Tonk has a high Muslim population.

The three municipal bodies in question are Tonk, Malpura and Niwai.

Said Mohsin Rasheed, who hails from Tonk and is running social media campaign about the orders: “How can meat shops be kept closed on the day of Eid-ul-Zuha? Many Muslims who do not sacrifice animal on the festival buy meat from meat shops.”

One meat seller, Chhota Qureshi (36) of Tonk told that “I have kept my shop closed since August 25 and suffering financial losses. I am in a fix to open the shop or keep it close in coming days as Eid will be on September 2,” he said.

Tonk Municipal Council chairperson Lakshmi Devi Jain and commissioner Dharampal Chaudhary did not answer HT’s calls. Malpura municipality chairperson Sapna Temani said that “As chairman of a municipal body, I can issue such order for closing meat shop for more days than DLB’s order.” She said meat shops should remain close for the entire 10 days of Paryushan festival of Jain community.

When asked about the impact of the order on Eid, she claimed meat shops are not closing their shops despite her order.

DLB Rajasthan chief Pawan Arora said his order was clearly for three days and not for 12 days in a row.

“Perhaps such municipal bodies of Tonk have misunderstood the orders of DLB,” he said, adding the municipal bodies cannot issue such orders on their own.

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 00:27 IST