The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) has criticised Maharashtra government for the ban on the slaughter of bulls and bullocks, saying it will render lakhs of people dependent on this business jobless. Though the slaughter of cows was previously prohibited in the state under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act of 1976, the passage of the new Act will ban the slaughter of bulls as well as bullocks, which was previously allowed based on a fit-for-slaughter certificate. The Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 1995 received assent of President Pranab Mukherjee on March 2.
“The government has taken the decision of banning slaughter of bulls and bullocks and thereby rendering lakhs of people dependent on this business jobless. We have asked Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, to ban use of alcohol and pork also in the state. Consuming alcohol is perhaps more dangerous than eating red meat,” MIM MLA Imtiaz Jaleel said.
“We respect the ban on slaughter of cows as it is considered holy in the Hindu religion. And since the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act of 1976 came into being in the state there was a strict implementation of the law and the Beef traders were following it with sincerity,” the MIM MLA from Aurangabad central said.
The government has done grave injustice to the large number of beef traders and the number of allied industries that thrived on it, by imposing a ban on slaughter of bulls as well as bullocks, Jaleel said.
“What plan has the government got to rehabilitate the large number of people working in the beef business and their numbers is in lakhs across the state. The government just cannot snatch away their livelihood and take away their legal means of earning their bread and butter,” he said. “It would be better if the government now takes up the challenge of making Maharashtra, the state with a history of sufis and saints, free from the menace of alcohol,” Jaleel said.
“I am sure no religion allows the use of liquor. And perhaps it’s much more dangerous to consume liquor than eating beef,” he said, adding, that the government’s prime duty should be to remove the evils from the society.
“I think the country liquor shops which the government promotes by issuing licences is nothing but telling people to consume poison,” he said.
Pork is not allowed in the Muslim community so does that mean that the government should also ban the slaughter of pigs now as it hurts the religious sentiments of a community, he said.
Jaleel asked the state government to reconsider its decision to ban slaughter of bulls and bullocks as it would leave lakhs of people jobless and reiterated that the ban on cows should continue as “we should respect the religious sentiments of our Hindu brothers.”
He said his party will fully support any agitation by the Qureshi jamat to get the ban lifted. The government should have first done a survey to find how many non-Muslims and specially the lower category of Dalits eat beef as this was the cheapest meat they could afford for a protein-healthy diet.
Jaleel warned the government about the possible escalation in rates of mutton andchicken prices and also of vegetable rates shooting up as the demand grows.