The government’s decision to ban the sale and consumption of beef has rendered many workers unemployed.
Political parties, famers and social activists had organised a rally from Rani Baug to Azad Maidan for protesting against the Fadnavis government’s decision to impose a ban on beef slaughter. Ever since the President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 1995 many workers have become unemployed and farmers have lost their livelihood. Advoc Waris Pathan MLA (AIMIM), Comrade Vasudevan and Com Vijay Dalvi had participated in the rally.
The committee had organised a protest of 5000 workers from Deonar abattoir to Azad Maidan against the amendment on March 10, 2015. The leaders of the Committee later met Minister of state (MoS) for home Dr Ranjit Patil who admitted that this move by the government has deprived many of their livelihoods. On March 24, 2015 farmers from different districts of Maharashtra along with workers, beef traders and other allied industry workers gathered for a protest at Mantralaya against beef ban. Agriculture Minister Eknath Khadse had met with representatives of the committee and assured them that he will look into this matter but no breakthrough has been achieved yet.
“The government had enacted this legislation to woo Hindu voters and suppress the Muslim community. Muslim community supports Cow slaughter ban but is against the Bull slaughter which has affected the livelihood of several people. Many farmers and workers of Deonar abattoir were stopped at Turbhe when they were on their way to join the protest” said Vijay Dalvi of Gow Vansh Hatya Bandhi Kaida Virodhi Kruti Samiti.
“The government should provide employment to every worker of abattoir and later go ahead with the ban. If justice is denied to us then we will continue to protest against the government’s decision” he added.
Waris Pathan, AIMIM MLA from Byculla said, “The government should scrap this Act. It’s a person’s fundamental right to consume the food he wants. If the government can provide financial package to farmers why can’t they do the same for the affected workers of abattoir?”
“This protest is against the Beef ban and the draconian section of 5D which imposes immediate arrest and imprisonment. We demand the government to scrap the section and revoke the bill” he added.
“On one hand, the government wants the crime rates to reduce on the other hand it is snatching the livelihood of many workers. How do you expect the crime rates to fall if so many people become unemployed? How will the unemployed people to take care of their families? We have noticed that crime rates surge when unemployment rates increase. If people start committing crime then government can’t blame them” he said.
The beef ban has directly hit over 800,000 people engaged in the industry, besides many more in allied industries like leather products, beef packaging and processing plants. Besides, the prices of other non-vegetarian products like chicken, mutton and fish are increasing, making it difficult for all sections of people, including non-beef consumers. Under the new Act, only slaughter of water buffaloes, which yields carabeef, considered an inferior quality meat, has been allowed.