Fear of police action keeps meat biryani sellers off Noida roads
According to the new rules, anybody wanting to sell meat in any form has to have a licence from the authorities concerned. People who sell non-vegetarian food on carts also need to pay Rs 100 a year as registration fee.noida Updated: Jun 08, 2017 23:16 IST
The famous Moradabad roadside biryani has almost vanished from Noida after the state government came down heavily on the meat industry and illegal slaughterhouses.
Most non-vegetarian biryani vendors have started selling vegetarian variants or fruits, while some have opted for an entirely new business.
According to vendors, selling mutton or chciken biryani can attract unwanted policing apart from legal action. According to the new rules, anybody wanting to sell meat in any form has to have a licence from the authorities concerned. People who sell non-vegetarian food on carts also need to pay Rs 100 a year as registration fee.
More than the law, it is the fear factor that has forced people to stop selling meat biryani on the roads of Noida. “A lot of people used to sell meat biryani but now they don’t. The few who still sell it does not do it in the open. They are scared that they will have to face dire consequences if they are caught,” said Kishan pal who sells vegetarian biryani in Sector 53. Each plate of veg biryani costs Rs 30, while the meat variant was earlier sold for Rs 50 per plate.
According to the Food Safety and Drug Administration, the crackdown on illegal meat shops have affected the biryani sellers as chicken and mutton are not easily available anymore.
“A licence is mandatory to sell meat and, hence, the supply has come down. Also, sellers are afraid that if the police spot them, action will be taken against them for not having valid registrations,” said Mahendra Saxena, head of FDSA.
The loss of meat biryani sellers is a gain for those making the delicacy with vegetables. Meat biryani can still be found at restaurants and licensed shops, but it is losing its spot as much sought-after street food.
“Meat biryani sellers are scared after the clampdown by the Yogi government. There are these fringe Hindu groups which have been threatening these small-time sellers. Nobody wants trouble and that’s why the number of such carts has come down drastically,” said Jagdish, a resident of Sector 52, who used to be a regular at these carts.
The Allahabad high court had made it clear to the Uttar Pradesh government that prohibition on meat can’t be imposed in the name of closing illegal slaughterhouses. It had also said the state is obliged to ensure that people have access to legal and healthy meat.
“To provide an immediate check on unlawful activity should be simultaneous with facilitating lawful activity, particularly relating to food, food habits and vending thereof that is undisputedly connected with the right to life and livelihood. Food that is conducive to health cannot be treated as a wrong choice,” the court had said.
Suniti, superintendent of police (rural), said, “If we find anybody selling non-vegetarian food without a licence, then that person is asked to close the shop or cart immediately. After that, we inform the authorities concerned to take appropriate action. We can also take action under Section 151 of the CrPC if that person refuses to co-operate. They can also be booked under Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act in extreme cases.