A delegation of meat processors is expected to meet Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh at 3 pm today. While he has not promised any backtracking on the issue in the government’s agenda, he said that whatever is written in their memorandum will be looked into. This meeting comes in the backdrop of indefinite strike by meat sellers especially mutton vendors over the clampdown on illegal slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh. According to the reports after the clampdown, goat meat was not easily available, though there were a a few shops that were still selling chicken. In Lucknow, shops selling mutton have shut down.
According to the Indian Express, President of Uttar Pradesh Meat-Murga Vyapari Kalyan Samiti, Iqbal Qureshi said that the strike will continue and also that they are preparing the memorandum to be presented to the government. He also added,” We will continue our strike, as the actions which have been taken are arbitrary. We will try to meet the chief minister… if we do not get time, we will meet senior officers or the minister for urban development.” The Lucknow Bakra Gosht Vypar Mandal have also threatened that they are not planning to call off the strike anytime soon and that the strike will go on indefinitely. Mubin Qureshi, an office-bearer of the Mandal added that the crack down on the illegal mechanized slaughterhouses has adversely hit the livelihood of lakhs of people.
Clearing the air around the attempts of associating government’s crackdown drive with a particular religion, Cabinet Minister Shrikant Sharma told PTI that “The Adityanath government’s move aims to ensure health and safety of people by ensuring safe and clean meat to them.” He also added that “Our government is going by the rule book and following the orders of Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal. The action is against only illegal slaughterhouses. As far as meat shop owners are concerned, I would suggest that rather than going on strike, it’s better that they follow the rules.”