The controversial ban on sale of meat in Mumbai during the Jain festival of Paryushan begins on Thursday amidst outrage from various political parties. According to the order, the ban would be enforced on four days - September 10, 13, 17 and 18 as a mark of respect for the Jain community.
After Bharatiya Janata Party's ally Shiv Sena opposed the ban, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS MNS) has also openly criticised the ban. MNS workers are planning to sell meat in the open at 11 am in Dadar.
Taking a strident position on the matter, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said, "We will ensure there is no ban on sale of meat for the eight days." Interestingly, Sena is the dominant partner in Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) where it shares power with BJP.
The BJP, which has pressed for the ban, held that the decision was taken by the civic bodies and the state government has no role in it.
The NCP had also voiced reservation over the ban order, with the party along with Congress dubbing it as a BJP ploy to polarise voters with an eye on the elections to the civic body due in early 2017.
MCGM recently announced suspension of meat sale and shutting down of its slaughter house at Deonar in suburban Mumbai on September 10, 13, 17 and 18 in deference to the sentiments of the Jain community members, who during 'Paryushan' even shun all root vegetables.
The ban covers mutton and chicken, and excludes fish and eggs. It also extends to private businesses selling raw meat. The ban on sale of meat during 'Paryushan' has been in force since 1964, when the MCGM passed a resolution directing a two-day prohibition on sale of meat in response to the demands by Jains, a powerful community which holds key stakes in business and industry in Mumbai.
In 2004, the Congress-NCP government passed another resolution extending it by another two days across Mumbai every September.