Police takes MNS leader into custody after party protests against meat ban during Jain festival

Police takes MNS leader into custody after party protests against meat ban during Jain festival
Picture Courtesy : Vidya Kumar

On Monday, police took a Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader and workers into custody for protesting against the closure of Deonar slaughterhouse and abattoirs across the city.

Per the state government directive, the BMC on Friday announced that the Deonar slaughterhouse would be shut for two days, namely on August 29 and September 5, in the wake of the Jain festival Paryushan. The announcement was made in accordance with the government resolution issued by the urban development department in 2004.

MNS, however, opposed the move to shut abattoirs across the city citing the needs of the Marathi manoos. Party leader Sandeep Deshpande, along with a handful workers, were seen protesting at Agar Bazaar near Siddhivinayak Temple on Monday morning. Following which, police intervened and took them into custody.

“Don’t shut meat shops. Let people decide what to eat and what not to eat. The state government should not interfere with what food people should eat,” Raj Thackeray said following the police action.

Incidentally, this isn’t the first time MNS has protested against the closure of meat shops. Last year, a Jain trust led by BJP MLAs Purohit and Atul Bhatkhalkar had demanded ban on meat during all eight days of Paryushan. The Mira-Bhayander constituency even imposed a ban, but following an uproar, led by MNS party, the ban was reduced to two days. The ban of two days was imposed on Mumbai as well.

MNS had also stirred a nation-wide controversy last year when their members had demonstrated and cooked chicken outside the hall where the Jains had assembled for Paryushan in Vishnu Nagar area in Thane.

“The Jains will not decide what will happen in Maharashtra. Digamma Jains roam naked showing their body, if that is okay then why is this meat ban issued in the state. The MNS will definitely support whoever wants to sell meat in the state. We won’t follow the meat ban issued by the government,” MNS chief Raj Thackeray had said in a press conference then.

Meanwhile, BJP MLA Raj Purohit has also written to the head of the civic body and demanded that the Deonar slaughterhouse be shut during four days of Ganeshotsav. While the head of BMC, Ajoy Mehta, is yet to respond to his request, the civic body’s ruling party has said that it does not support the additional four day ban.

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