Meat traders involve Deoband clerics to save godowns

With the government demolishing their meat godowns, traders in Meerut have now approached Muslim clerics of Deoband for mediation. The clerics have been invited for a general body meeting of meat traders on May 16 in Meerut and decide the location for animal slaughtering according to Islamic rituals.

With the involvement of Deoband clerics, the issue is likely to be blown up as an Muslim issue.

"The state government is conspiring to snatch meat trade away from Muslims. They are also aiming to stop supply of meat, which is an integral food habit of Muslims," Yousuf Qureshi, president, Jamiat-ul-Quresh, a body of Qureshi community of Muslims, which is traditionally engaged in meat business, stated.

Muslim cleric Mehmood Madani, who heads Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind, reached Meerut on May 6 and held a meeting with meat traders. He challenged the state government to stop demolitions or else face the ire of Muslim community. The administration, which was to demolish the meat godowns on May 7, dropped its plan.

Explaining the involvement of clerics in the issue, Qureshi said that since meat slaughtering involves religious rituals, they will follow their decision.

"Thousands of Qureshis will gather in Meerut on May 16. Muslim clerics will come from Deoband, Saharanpur and Delhi. The issue is related to our livelihood and also religious practice," Qureshi added.

He claimed to have written letters to all political parties, including state BJP president Laxmikant Bajpai, in this regard. Bajpai, too, hails from Meerut and is opposed to the meat godowns.

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