UP meat sellers may call off strike after ‘assurance’ from CM Yogi Adityanath, govt mulling new policy to regulate multi-crore industry

Lucknow: The meat sellers in Uttar Pradesh may call off their ongoing strike from Friday following positive assurance from the state’s Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, to their representatives yesterday.

The UP meat traders’ association has also expressed support to the government’s crackdown against illegal slaughterhouses.

During the meeting yesterday, the Yogi Adityanath assured a delegation of UP meat traders and exporters that his government will protect interests of all genuine operators.

The CM, who is on a nine-day fast due to Navratra, also said that officers who had gone overboard, after his government ordered a clampdown on illegal slaughterhouses, would be asked to act ‘responsibly’.

Closure of all mechanised and illegal slaughterhouses was one of the BJP’s election promises in the state.

Sirajuddin Qureshi, the president of the All India Jamiatul Quresh – an association of the state’s abattoirs and meat sellers– said that that they have appealed to its members to consider withdrawing the strike.

“I guess things would start normalising within a couple of days,” he said.

“Though there won’t be any let off in the clampdown on illegal slaughterhouses, the CM said officers would be asked to act responsibly. This government won’t act against people on the basis of religion, caste or colour,” UP Minister Siddharth Nath Singh said after the meeting.

Before the CM arrived for talks at his 5 KD residence, Singh had held preliminary round of talks with the meat sellers.

The CM later summoned all his cabinet ministers, including the two deputy chief ministers ostensibly to discuss the issue.

The UP government may come out with a fresh policy to regulate the multi-crore industry.

Of the 72 government-approved abattoirs across the country, 38 are in the state. They are given NoCs by the UP Pollution Control Board.

Thousands of meat sellers in UP shut shops for an indefinite period from Monday against the CM Adityanath government’s decision to shut down illegal slaughterhouses in the state, causing concerns over Rs 15,000-crore industry that employs 25 lakh people in the state.

The issue also came up for a discussion in Parliament with the central government claiming that only illegal slaughterhouses were closed down in Uttar Pradesh.

Meat sellers in the sprawling Uttar Pradesh, however, allege that police were raiding the shops and forcing the closure of their establishments despite having valid licenses.

They said the ban on slaughterhouses has caused a shortage in meat supply across the state, as thousands of meat sellers have been forced to shut their shops for an indefinite period in an air of uncertainty over the state government policy.

After coming to power, the Yogi Adityanath-led government has ordered the closure of illegal slaughterhouses and strict enforcement of the ban on cow smuggling to fulfill a key electoral promise.

Adityanath last week said abattoirs operating legally will not be touched but action will be taken against those being run illegally.

 

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