Shut Deonar ab­ba­toir for 8 days for Gan­pati, Paryushan, says BJP

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Chetna Yerunkar chetna.yerunkar@hin­dus­tan­times.com HT Cor­re­spon­dent letters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

De­spite the flak it re­ceived last year, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has once again de­manded the city abat­toir at Deonar re­main shut not just dur­ing Paryushan Parv — a fast­ing pe­riod ob­served by the Jain com­mu­nity — but also dur­ing Ganesh fes­ti­val — for four days each.

Last year, the party de­manded clos­ing the abat­toir for eight days. Most of the meat con­sumed in Mum­bai comes from the abat­toir.

Paryushan Parv starts from Au­gust 29 and ends on Septem­ber 6. The Ganesh fes­ti­val be­gins on Septem­ber 5.

BJP MLA Raj Puro­hit has writ­ten to civic chief Ajoy Me­hta stat­ing the de­mands.

Last year, a ma­jor con­tro­versy broke out be­tween the BJP and its al­liance part­ner, the Shiv Sena, in the Bri­han­mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (BMC) – the former pushed for shut­ting slaugh­ter houses for eight days.

Be­fore that, the abat­toir would be shut for four days – two days as per the civic body’s res­o­lu­tion and two days as per the state’s GR.

Fol­low­ing the BJP’s de­mand of eight days, how­ever, an irked Sena and other Op­po­si­tion par­ties forced the can­cel­la­tion of the civic body’s res­o­lu­tion, which al­lowed shut­ting Deonar abat­toir only for two days. Last year, it was Puro­hit and an­other BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar who had met the civic chief de­mand­ing the eight-day ban.

The Sena said it will not sup­port the de­mand this year ei­ther.

Trushna Vish­was­rao, leader of the House and Sena cor­po­ra­tor, said, “Ac­cord­ing to the state’s res­o­lu­tion, the slaugh­ter houses will be shut for two days. But we will not al­low adding more days. There has been no prac­tice of shut­ting abat­toirs dur­ing Ganeshot­sav ex­cept on the first day.”

An all-party del­e­ga­tion will visit Kash­mir in the first week of Septem­ber in stepped up ef­forts by the gov­ern­ment to end a wave of vi­o­lence that claimed the life of an­other youth in the val­ley on Fri­day.

The de­ci­sion to send the team came a day after Union home min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh ended a two­day visit to Kash­mir, an­nounc­ing the gov­ern­ment’s will­ing­ness to speak to “any­body” and promis­ing an al­ter­na­tive to pel­let guns which have left hun­dreds of peo­ple with eye in­juries.

“The ex­act date of the visit and com­po­si­tion of the del­e­ga­tion will be fi­nalised after con­sul­ta­tion with all po­lit­i­cal par­ties,” said a se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial who spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity.

While Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi is likely to sound her out about the all-party del­e­ga­tion’s visit, chief min­is­ter Me­hbooba Mufti might push for re­lease of sep­a­ratist lead­ers to en­able them to hold ral­lies, which will al­low pro­tes­tors to vent their anger demo­crat­i­cally.

Mean­while, 19-year-old Sha­keel Ah­mad Ganai was killed when se­cu­rity forces fired on a group of pro­test­ers in Pul­wama dis­trict.

The death toll since the killing of mil­i­tant leader Burhan Wani rose to 69 even as the val­ley re­mained un­der for the 49th day.

(With in­puts from HTC, Sri­na­gar)

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