Yogi effect: Illegal slaughterhouses, meat shops sealed in Uttar Pradesh capital

The BJP manifesto had said all tillegal slaughter houses would be closed and there would be a blanket ban on all mechanised slaughter houses. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India Mar 22, 2017, 12.47 PM (IST)

Illegal slaughter houses and meat shops in Uttar Pradesh's capital Lucknow were sealed by police and local administration on Wednesday, the latest in the crackdown on slaughterhouses ordered by newly-appointed chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
 

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The same day, Yogi Adityanath directed police officials to prepare an action plan for closure of slaughterhouses across the state, in keeping with the BJP's poll promise.

The Uttar Pradesh chief minister has also ordered a blanket ban on smuggling of cows.

Officials, however, have not specified which slaughterhouses will be shut.

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

Three meat shops were gutted in Hathras district on Tuesday night in what police officials said was a "mysterious" overnight blaze.

The meat industry is a flashpoint for religious violence in the state. Most butcher shops are run by Muslims and cow slaughter can trigger violence. 

Hindus consider cows to be sacred and accusations of beef being sold by Muslims can trigger violent mob reprisals.

A 50-year-old Muslim man was dragged from his home in 2015 and beaten to death by roughly 100 people over rumours he ate beef. Police later said it was mutton.

Yogi Adityanath is known for his polarising and inflammatory speeches against Muslims, and has called for harsher penalties for the slaughter of cows, which is already illegal in most Indian states.

Since the BJP's election victory, dozens of butcher shops deemed illegal by the government have been sealed off across the state in what authorities say is a crackdown on unlicensed traders, AFP reports.

India has witnessed a rise in vigilantism by Hindu extremists since Modi -- whose right-wing party is strongly aligned to Hindu nationalist groups -- was voted to power in 2014.

(WION with inputs from ANI, AFP)