Pushed to the wall by the ban on the sale of beef, traders in Pune and western Maharashtra are planning to move the Supreme Court, saying it would affect the livelihood of more than one crore people across the State.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad cadre forced several abattoirs — including Deonar in Mumbai, the largest in the State — to shut shop. Beef shops remained closed as there was no supply.
The ban was imposed after President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the longpending Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 1995, making it a law.
The sale and possession of beef is now punishable by a jail term of up to five years.
“The ban will cripple our business. We are considering legal options and will not hesitate to move the Supreme Court if needed,” said Arif Chowdhury of the All India Jamiat-ul-Quresh Action Committee. A senior BJP Minister in Delhi said, “Livestock is a State subject, so there is no question of a central law to ban cow slaughter.
There is a central policy on meat export, and the government has not changed it.”