Half-truths and rumours fuel UP’s anti-slaughterhouse drive
The new BJP government in Uttar Pradesh under Yogi Adityanath has converted the rhetoric of gau raksha, powered by half-truths and rumours, into policy by shutting down slaughterhouses and meat shops across the state. The chaotic impact of these actions trace back to some erroneous claims made by the BJP in its manifesto, justifying the crackdown. The document stated that the party would shut down all illegal slaughterhouses and prohibit mechanised abattoirs as illegal cattle smuggling during the Samajwadi Party rule had led to a drop in UP’s livestock population and milk production. For the administration to enforce this policy even if it has nothing to do with unearthing illegal cow slaughter, has led to a frantic search for every minor lapse. To this end, teams of over 30 officials and policemen, representing ten departments set out every morning to inspect godowns, meat factories, unused buildings or even homes.