Meat ban draws anger in Mumbai


A temporary ban on the sale of meat in India's financial capital of Mumbai, which began Thursday, has drawn public criticism and political opposition. Authorities said the measure is aimed at respecting the vegetarian Jain community, which is fasting for Paryushana, a festival of forgiveness.

The staggered ban on the sale of mutton, chicken and pork will also be enforced on 17 and 18 September, city officials said. Angry meat traders said the municipal corporation, run by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had extended the ban from two days in the past to four days.

Muhammad Qureshi, a prominent meat dealer, said he and other sellers have challenged the ban in court because it infringes on their right to a livelihood. Many residents in the city of 18 million people went online to vent their anger, saying the ban violates their freedom to choose what to eat.

The BJP's coalition partner, the right-wing Shiv Sena party, also opposes the extended ban. Although the ban was poorly implemented, Mumbai's main government-run abattoir was closed, and there will be no supplies on Friday, meat dealers said.

Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, imposed a ban on beef about six months ago. India's majority Hindus consider the cow an object of worship.    (dpa)

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