March 23, 2017

India: The ruling dispensation's the crusade against beef - seven meat-processing units sealed in Meerut

The Times of India

Abattoir of BSP neta, who wanted Prophet cartoonist beheaded, sealed

| | Updated: Mar 23, 2017, 08.42 AM IST
  • BSP leader Yakub Qureshi's meat-processing unit was sealed in Meerut on Wednesday.
  • Qureshi lost to Somendra Tomar of BJP in Meerut South constituency.
  • Qureshi had defended the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
    MEERUT: Among the seven meat-processing units sealed in Meerut on Wednesday, two are owned by political heavyweights of the area.

    They include BSP leader Yakub Qureshi, who had gained international notoriety for announcing a Rs 51-crore reward for the head of the Danish newspaper cartoonist who had drawn a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad, and Shahid Akhlaq, a former Meerut MP and former BSP leader. Qureshi's announcement of the reward in 2006 had generated considerable criticism in the country and abroad. In 2015, when terrorists massacred 12 members of the staff of French weekly Charlie Hebdo for publishing the Prophet cartoon, Qureshi had defended the act and his announcement of the reward. During the recent UP assembly elections, Qureshi contested from Meerut South constituency on a BSP ticket but lost to Somendra Tomar of the BJP.

    Both Qureshi and Akhlaq claimed that they had been unfairly targeted despite having all the documents required to operate slaughterhouses. Qureshi described the action by the administration as an "excess" which would create a serious unemployment problem in the city. "We have no problem if illegal slaughterhouses are closed down. They should be. But our slaughterhouse was legal. This is going to have serious repercussions as thousands of people were employed at the slaughterhouses which were sealed. Poor people are going to be rendered jobless by this move," he said.

    "All the meat processing units I own have every document in order, including the licences. The administration was looking for a reason to close us. When they could not find anything, they said that one of the buildings of the unit had not been built according to the plan approved by MDA, and they sealed the place," said Akhlaq. " If the building was not proper, they should have given us a notice and then given time to respond. This action is against minorities," said Akhlaq.