Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh police which has been often in the past charged with lethargy and slow-action moved with super-sonic speed in case of closure of illegal slaughter houses.
For, much before the new government could issue an order, the police closed and sealed a number of such houses in different parts of the state. Two of them were sealed in Allahabad just a few hours after it assumed power on Sunday when there was nothing given in writing in this regard till then.
Even till Tuesday there was no official word on it but the police had moved in action and closed a number of abattoirs in Varanasi, Noida and some other parts.
As is evident from a news agency report, the order for the same was given by new chief minisiter Yogi Adityanath only on Wednesday ( today).
"In keeping with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s manifesto, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday directed police officials to prepare an action plan for closure of slaughter houses across the state. He also ordered a blanket ban on smuggling of cows", said the agency report.
However, even this order does specify the type of slaughter houses to be closed." Official sources did not specify the type of slaughter houses which will be shut ( mechanised or manual or all)", maintained the agency report.
The police, perhaps, has taken the party manifesto as a guide because the manifesto released before the assembly elections this year by the party had promised closure of all illegal slaughter houses .It had also promised a blanket ban on all mechanised slaughter houses.
Similar haste was shown by the police in case of street romeos. It has formed squads and taken actions against some of them without proper authorisation.
( backgrounder and other related matters in the next slide)
Uttar Pradesh which has put a total ban on cow slaughter and sale of beef and put no restriction on killing of buffalo or sale of buffalo meat has as many as 285 mechanised legal slaughter houses. Maharashtra tops the list with 316 such houses, according to a government reply on a query under the Right to Information Act.
The state has contributed 28 per cent to the total buffalo population in the country and produced 7515 lakh kilograms of buffalo meat in the year 2014-15.
There are, however, more illegal than legal slaughter houses. Most of the illegal outlets are located in Bijnor and Amroha areas in the western part of the state.
None should have a grudge against closure of illegal slaughter houses. But even those who have licences are a worried lot. The fear shared by all in this group is that their licences will not be renewed after they expire.
Qureshi caste in the Muslim community is mainly engaged in this business. Slaughter houses have provided employment to over two lakh persons belonging either to this caste or some others in the community.
If they do not find an alternative, they will certainly be hard up. Their demand from the government to provide some other sources of revenue earning is, therefore, genuine.
More in the other slide
The state government too will suffer a huge revenue loss. There is no doubt about it. According to one estimate if all the slaughter houses are closed for five years the state will lose around Rs 56,000 crores.
The state was largest producer of buffalo meat and had stayed on top from 2008 to 2013. Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal held the second and third positions.
Unlike buffalo, cow slaughter and sale of beef have been banned in 24 out of 29 states in the country. The list includes most of the north-eastern states and West Bengal and Kerala among the states in other parts.
A dig into the old records reveals that the first slaughter house was set up in Calcutta ( now named Kolkata) by Clive Lloyd in 1760.