Uttar Pradesh: Mathura liquor, meat ban only on sale, not consumption | Agra News - Times of India

Uttar Pradesh: Mathura liquor, meat ban only on sale, not consumption | Agra News – Times of India


AGRA: The ban on liquor and meat in Mathura district is applicable only to their sale and not their consumption. And instead of a complete shutdown, the liquor vends and meat outlets will be relocated outside the 22 wards of the Mathura-Vrindavan Municipal Corporation where the ban has been notified.
“Only sale is banned. There is no prohibition on consumption. Licensed vends and meat shops will be relocated,” said a district official on condition of anonymity.
Mohammad Riazuddin Raju, a social worker and president of Sankalp Welfare Society, an NGO, said, “Muslim meat sellers have decided to approach the high court against the ban. They will seek permission to carry on their business on the streets of Muslim-majority localities. Over 1 lakh Muslims live in the 22 wards where the ban has been announced. They can’t change their food habits. We are afraid that if meat is carried even for personal consumption, there may be attacks.”
The area where the ban came into effect on Friday night, a 10-sq km area from the Krishna Janmasthan Temple complex, has about 45 liquor shops and 18 meat outlets, including restaurants where non-vegetarian food is served, district authorities said. “Implementation of the ban will be strictly ensured by police in restricted areas,” Mathura-Vrindavan Municipal Corporation commissioner Anunay Jha said.
The notification for the meat ban was immediately shared with outlets. All 18 were shut on Saturday. “Meat sellers have two options — relocate or start another business,” Dr Gauri Shankar, designated officer of food and drug administration, said. The liquor ban is yet to be enforced. District excise officer Prabhat Chandra said data about liquor vends is being collected and their relocation will be planned soon.
Mathura DM Navneet Singh Chahal said the government will help and train those willing to change their line of business. “There are many government schemes with which they could be accommodated and helped to start new businesses,” he added.
Those in the trade, however, said neither seems like a practical option. “I have already paid this fiscal’s licence fee. The government should have implemented this from the next financial year, if it had to. Also, I have been running my store for three years, with sales of almost Rs 1 lakh a day. Would I get the same after relocation?” said Sunil Kumar, who runs a wine shop in Mathura. Mohammad Shahid, who runs a chicken shop in Jaisinghpura, likewise, said relocation would be a problem. “Customers will not commute to faroff places to buy meat. It will mean losses. My shop, where I’d make Rs 700 a day, has been shut. Some of us local dealers are planning on taking this to the high court.”





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