Just 1 More Day of Mumbai Meat Ban, Court Called it 'Regressive': 10 Developments

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Just 1 More Day of Mumbai Meat Ban, Court Called it 'Regressive': 10 Developments
Mumbai:  After much debate and controversy, the meat ban in Mumbai has been cut short to just one more day. The decision by the city's civic body came as the Bombay High Court today described the ban as regressive.
Here are 10 developments in the story:
  1. Mumbai's civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, which announced the four-day ban on the slaughter and sale of meat for a Jain festival of fasting known as "Paryushan", today voted to reduce it.
  2. The civic body had been berated by the high court, which had criticized the ban in "progressive" Mumbai. "There is a progressive look to Mumbai. These are regressive steps. We understand the sentiment part. But purchase is an independent choice," the court said.
  3. The mutton traders of Mumbai had challenged the ban that started yesterday amid protests not just by opposition parties but also the ruling BJP's ally Shiv Sena. The BJP wanted the ban extended to eight days, but the Sena said it would ensure that meat was openly sold and eaten in the financial capital on the days of the ban.
  4. The ban during the Jain fast was introduced in 1994 by the then Congress government. Ten years later, the two-day ban was extended to four days. Mutton traders argued that the ban had never really been implemented until now.
  5. "All these years you only banned slaughter not sale. How can you take this decision at the 11th hour?" the court asked the civic body.
  6. The Maharashtra government also faced tough questions about the logic of the ban. "When you are talking of Ahimsa, how come fish, sea food and eggs are not banned?" the judges asked, and got a baffling reply.
  7. "Fish die the moment they are out of water. So there is no slaughter involved," said the government. The sentiment, explained the government's top lawyer, was that there should be no slaughter.
  8. "We have to change our attitude in view of globalisation," said the judges, who had yesterday commented that "an eight-day straight ban can't be a formula. Mumbai is a modern city."
  9. The government argued: "A Supreme Court judgement says that we have to respect the sentiments of a particular community. It doesn't matter if Jains are fewer in number in Mumbai." Later, however, the government told the court that the ban had been cut short.
  10. Like Opposition parties the Congress and the NCP, the Shiv Sena has alleged a political move by the BJP to appease the Jain community in Mumbai, with an eye on elections to the civic body in 2017.


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