Beef traders still face violence, even after Maharashtra oxen and bull slaughter ban

By Raghavendra Verma, in New Delhi

- Last updated on GMT

According to sources local police forces remain complacent
According to sources local police forces remain complacent

Related tags Cattle Beef Livestock

While Indian meat dealers are struggling to overcome the newly imposed ban on oxen and bull slaughter in the western state of Maharashtra, they continue to face attacks on their cattle transport vehicles, GlobalMeatNews has been told.

"In Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and other northern states, Hindu religious organisations are making it difficult for people to operate abattoirs and meat shops,"​ said Zafarul-Islam Khan, president of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, a Delhi-based religious organisation, "goons stop the cattle vehicles, beat up the drivers and loot consignments worth up to US$12,000 dollars."

Khan told GlobalMeatNews​ that local police forces remain complacent and the victims do not get justice unless they approach the courts.

Cattle processors face the problem that many Hindu organisations are not only opposed to cow slaughter but the slaughtering of any cattle, including castrated oxen. Surender Dahiya, a cow protection activist in the northern state of Haryana, told GlobalMeatNews​ that he and his group do not allow oxen to be taken away from their state.

"Volunteers from our Cow Protection Committee are posted on the [state] borders and if they find oxen in transit they impound them along with the vehicles with the help of the police,"​ he said.

Cattle are brought to one of the several charitable cow shelters run by religious organisations. Two of the shelters in Haryana, that Dahiya helps run, have 12,000 cows and oxen, he said. Most interstate Indian traffic of vehicles carrying animals is headed towards Maharashtra, which is the biggest meat consuming state in the western region, said Yamin Qureshi, president of the Mumbai beef retailers association.

Qureshi told GlobalMeatNews​ that, currently "all meat traders in Maharashtra are on indefinite strike to protest against the new law [banning slaughter of oxen and bulls]."

Meanwhile, activist attacks are forcing lorries moving other livestock to avoid certain flashpoints where religious groups are particularly strong, for instance the movement of goats to Mumbai from the desert state of Rajasthan. "Due to problems in [the western state of] Gujarat, where our vehicles are often detained, our drivers take a longer route through Madhya Pradesh [state] to reach Maharashtra,"​ Mainuddin Sindhi, a transporter of goats in Jodhpur (Rajasthan) told GlobalMeatNews.

Sindhi, who owns three trucks that carry grocery items on their return journey from Mumbai, said: "If we have to approach the courts every time we are attacked we will be forced to close our business."

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