Will Yogi Adityanath shut down all slaughterhouses in UP?

Officials did not say what sort of slaughter houses would be shut. Adityanath has also ordered a blanket ban on the smuggling of cows. Photograph:( AFP )

PTI Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India Mar 22, 2017, 09.53 AM (IST)

In line with the BJP's election manifesto, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today (March 22) directed police officials to prepare an action plan for closure of slaughter houses across the state.

The Lucknow Municipal Corporation soon swung into action and sealed nine meat shops in the state capital.

Adityanath also asked officials to ensure a blanket ban on smuggling of cows and said zero tolerance would be exercised in this regard, official sources said.

The sources, however, did not specify the type of slaughter houses which will be shut.

There was some clarification from Sidharthnath Singh, a minister in the state government, who said licensed slaughterhouses were being allowed to function.

Uttar Pradesh minister Shrikant Sharma said if licensed slaughterhouses violated rules, "strict action would be taken against them".

The BJP manifesto had said that all the illegal slaughter houses would be closed and there would be a blanket ban on all the mechanised slaughter houses.

The BJP's election manifesto had said that all the illegal slaughter houses would be closed and there would be a blanket ban on all the mechanised slaughter houses

While police and municipal authorities across the state have already started to crack down on illegal slaughter houses across the state with raids on many such units in most of the districts, the Lucknow Municipal Corporation today sealed nine meat shops in Mahanagar and Aliganj.

As per the LMC's estimate, there are approximately 200-250 meat shops that are running illegally in the city of Nawabs where foodies flock for mouthwatering 'kebabs' (a grilled meat dish).

Besides, not a single slaughter house in the city is authorised to function as the four the state capital had were all issued closure notices by the UP Pollution Control Board between 2013 and 2015.

One, which existed in the cantonment area, was sealed by the cantonment board, while the other three were in Motijheel, Aminabad and Kasaibada areas here.

"There are shops running in shanties which are not following norms. Such shops need to be regulated or closed down," Chief Veterinary Officer LMC AK Rao. 

IG (Lucknow zone) A Satish Ganesh had said yesterday that a comprehensive drive has been launched across 11 districts around Lucknow against illegal transportation of cattle and meat, slaughter houses and cow slaughter.

Besides Lucknow, the other districts are Unnao, Barabanki, Rae Bareli, Sitapur, Hardoi, Lakhimpur Kheri, Amethi, Sultanpur, Faizabad and Ambedkar Nagar.

DGP Javeed Ahmed has already issued necessary directives in this regard to district police chiefs through video conferencing.

The BJP document had observed that due to cow smuggling, dairy-based industries have failed to flourish.

It noted that during the past state governments there has been a fall in cattle count, reflecting that bovine smuggling was rampant.

BJP Chief Amit Shah in his election meetings had emphasised that the moment his party comes to power in the state, it would ban all slaughter houses.

Adityanath had launched his first movement against illegal slaughter houses in Gorakhpur region way back in 2002.

Volunteers of Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV), an organisation floated by the five-time MP from Gorakhpur, were mobilised to launch an agitation against those slaughter houses.

After the success of the agitation, the HYV had launched a massive campaign against slaughter houses and cattle lifting.

In his orders issued today, Adityanath also directed the police to act tough against anti-social elements.

He warned that those using police security as "status symbol" would come under the scanner and after review of their threat perception their security might be changed.