In its campaign manifesto, the BJP had promised the closure of illegal and mechanised slaughterhouses. Photograph: (AFP)
Fish vendors have also joined the strike
Meat sellers across Uttar Pradesh went on an indefinite strike Monday against the crackdown on illegal and mechanised slaughterhouses by the Yogi Adityanath government.
The meat sellers have urged the chief minister to fight for the nation and not for "gosht" (mutton), ANI reported.
"Yogi Adityanath should fight for the nation, not for gosht. Many people are dying without food. It has created chaos. We will support Yogi ji in his fight against Pakistan. If he (Yogi Adityanath) fights for gosht, we will raise our voices," a meat seller told ANI.
Fish vendors have also joined the stir which has seen non-vegetarian delicacies go off the menu in several parts of the state, PTI said.
Meat sellers shut their shops in protest against Uttar Pradesh Government's crackdown; visuals from Aminabad pic.twitter.com/VwlNTxVLfH— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 27, 2017
"We have decided to intensify our strike from tomorrow (Monday). All shops will remain closed. Fish sellers too have joined us and are extending support to us," Lucknow Bakra Gosht Vypar Mandal office bearer Mubeen Qureshi said.
He said, in the wake of the crackdown, there was no question of the strike being called off anytime soon.
"It will go on indefinitely," he said.
The crackdown has made meat sellers fear for their livelihoods.
"Someone commits mistake and others pay for it. We have to earn our living. So many families are dependent on this. We all have become jobless now. There should be a solution to this," said another meat seller.
The crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses and the shortage of buffalo meat had forced Lucknow's iconic Tunday Kababi to move to chicken and mutton kebabs -- and not their mainstay buffalo -- at their outlets.
After the Yogi Adityanath-led government was sworn in, the government has initiated tough action against illegal slaughterhouses by ordering their closure and enforcement of the ban on cow smuggling.
The BJP had made these promises in its poll manifesto.
BJP's national spokesman Sambit Patra said that the government was only following a court order as illegal abattoirs were contributing to UP's ill health by polluting the groundwater, PTI reported.
"There has been a court order about illegal abattoirs which was not implemented by the previous government. The state's Chief Secretary has constituted committees in each district headed by the Collector and comprising ten people each. The committee is visiting every slaughterhouse to see if they are being run legally and submitting a report every day," he said.
On the issue of loss of livelihood, Patra said, "If there is large-scale disruption, the state government will look at it and resolve the issue."
Congress leader Akhilesh Pratap Singh said only small meat vendors were getting targeted in the crackdown.
"How is it that the small shops are getting closed and meat exports are going up. The government should have made people aware of the laws and rules before launching the drive," he said, reported PTI.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had given instructions on Saturday that those abbatoirs which are not in violation of law should not be touched but action should be taken against illegal slaughterhouses.
"The government will not touch those (abattoirs) which are operating as per the provisions of law and have a valid licence. But those that are violating the orders of the NGT and playing with the health of the public would not be spared...," he had said.
Note: An earlier version of this article contained a photo only claiming to be a "representative image", but it was of a shoe shop in Pune. While the wrong picture did not misrepresent the thrust of the story, we regret the error.
(WION with inputs from PTI, ANI)
Meat sellers across Uttar Pradesh go on an indefinite strike from today in protest of the crackdown on illegal and mechanised slaughterhouses. (WION)