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Bombay HC disapproval prompts partial backpedal on Mumbai meat ban

Rapped sharply by the Bombay high court, most political parties and the public, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday hurriedly decided to reduce the four-day meat ban in Mumbai by two days.

The BMC general body urged Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta to lift the ban for two days - September 13 and 18 - in view of the strong sentiments against the ban, Shiv Sena corporator Trushna Vishwasrao told mediapersons.

Mayor Snehal Ambekar said the house agenda has been sent to Mehta with a request to keep all slaughter houses and retail shops open on September 13 and 18.

Earlier, the BMC had imposed a four-day ban on September 10, 13, 17 and 18 and kept the slaughter houses shut on these four days as well as implemented the ban on sale of all meat, poultry and fish products in the city.

While September 10 passed with huge protests, both among the masses as well as the social media networks, now the slaughter houses will remain shut only on September 17, the start of the 10-day Ganeshotsav.

Samajwadi Party corporator Rais Shaikh said he met Mehta and sought revocation of all the four days ban and the latter reportedly agreed to consider the issue positively.

The Shiv Sena corporator pointed out that the vast majority of the corporators agreed to lift the two-day ban since nobody can be compelled to follow certain eating norms though all religions must get equal respect.

The BMC move came after the Bombay high court expressed its strong reservations over the ban especially since Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city. It has also posted the hearing of a PIL in the matter to Monday.

Already covered by a state-wide ban on beef since April, the BMC’s meat ban followed an eight-day imposed in the adjoining Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation, and quickly followed by others like Navi Mumbai and Nashik.

Meanwhile, over the past couple of days, several states have also imposed similar ban on meat for varying periods.

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