Earlier this week, Agra police detained seven men for running illegal slaughter house at a private barn, in middle of a residential colony. The apprehended men were identified as Sagir, Mohammad Sadiq, Mohammad Chand Qureshi, Imran, Raja Ali, Babu and Bantu.
According to sources, the detained men were preparing meat for a local Muslim wedding ceremony. All the seven were booked under the Animal Cruelty Act section 11, Environment Conservation Act section 15, Food Safety and Standards Act section 63, IPC section 429 (mischief by killing or miming cattle) and Arms Act 4/25.
The matter came into public notice after journalist Swati Goel Sharma, shared exclusive photographs and information about the illegal slaughter house being run in Mohalla Tilla Nadram of Mantola police jurisdiction.
This is an illegal slaughterhouse bang in the middle of the residential colony in Mantola. I managed to take two photos but residents stopped me from clicking more pics. They said it would endanger my life
Imagine living in such fear pic.twitter.com/tpeN5fcPdt
— Swati Goel Sharma (@swati_gs) February 10, 2019
Following Sharma’s tweets, taking prompt action Agra police sealed the slaughter house and took the men behind it under custody.
— Swati Goel Sharma (@swati_gs) February 12, 2019
Speaking to TOI, Mohammad Sharif Kale, convenor of All India Jumat-ul-Quresh Agra unit, said, “The Agra civic body has failed to revive and restore the six defunct government slaughter houses, including the Mantola one, therefore, the local poor butchers are forced to operate in their private concealed barns. The action against those seven men is nothing but act of hatred against the Muslim community.”
Responding to the community leader’s allegation, additional district magistrate K P Singh, said, “The crackdown against the seven men was executed after a Delhi based woman journalist visited the area and tweeted few pictures, showing animal waste and blood in drains. The arrested accused are poor men and had no means to open a slaughter house to operate in legal way. That’s why they were using private barn to slaughter goats and lambs.”
Agra Municipal Corporation chief veterinary officer Yogesh Sharma said, “At present, there is only one civic body-run slaughter house, which is located on the outskirts of city limits, in Kuberpur. The Mantola area slaughter house is non-operational following a case pending in National Green Tribunal. The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) in 2016 had recommended that Mantola facility needs to be shut down as it was creating pollution and inconvenience in densely populated area.”
He said, “For slaughtering of goats and lambs, local butchers can go to Kuberpur facility or at private licensed centre in the city. Open slaughtering of animals is illegal.”
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, CJM court Agra rejected the bail of seven accused and sent them to jail.
(With inputs from TOI)