Amid an escalating halal controversy in Karnataka, the state’s Animal Husbandry Ministry issued an order to the civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, on Friday, directing them to check the stunning facilities available in slaughterhouses in the state.
The circular dated April 1, comes after animal rights activists urged for the rules of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, drafted in 2001, to be implemented and for animals to be stunned before they are slaughtered for meat.
Stunning ensures that the animal is unconscious and does not feel any pain.
As per Section 6 in The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001, rule number 4, ‘every slaughterhouse as soon as possible shall provide a separate space for stunning of animals prior to slaughter, bleeding and dressing of the carcasses.’
The department has asked BBMP to submit a report to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on whether or not the practice of ‘stunning’ is being followed or not.
However, the state’s minister for Animal Husbandry, Prabhu Chauhan, told TV9 that his department has not issued mandatory ‘stunning’ order.
“No orders have been issued by our department. Stunning is not mandatory. There was only a letter written that Halal cut should not be practiced. There was no order issued. I will review the letter,” TV9 quoted the ministers as saying.
With the escalating communal tensions in the state, chief minister Basavaraj Bommai said that he has directed all Superintendents of Police (SP) and Deputy Commissioners to initiate strict action against elements who try to create problems during the festival.
Karnataka is celebrating Ugadi festival on Saturday followed by ‘Hosa tadukua’ on Sunday. The people especially in south Karnataka feast on non-vegetarian food en mass during this period.
Answering a question, Bommai said that he has directed to conduct peace meetings between leaders of communities and ensure that the law and order system is not disturbed in the state.
Halal row in Karnataka:
The halal controversy began after Bajrang Dal members carried out a full-fledged campaign, in a form of an economic boycott and social isolation of Muslims, and urged Hindus not to purchase halal-cut meat, during Ugadi.
A butcher and a shop owner were also harassed and thrashed by members of a Hindutva outfit on Wednesday for selling Halal meat.
“Bajrang Dal activists argued and then attacked a Muslim vendor. An FIR has been registered at Hosamane police station in Bhadravati,” ANI news agency quoted the Shivamogga Superintendent of police. So far, seven accused in the case have been arrested.
Meanwhile, Bhadravathi police in Shivamogga district arrested 7 persons for assaulting hotel staff demanding non-halal meat on Friday night. The arrested persons had gone to a chicken meat stall, abused and threatened the owner that he should not sell halal meat.
The same group went to the Janata hotel and demanded jhatka cut meat. They insisted that the hotel should not sell halal cut meat. They quarrelled with a customer and assaulted one of the hotel staff. The hotel and meat shop owners had lodged a complaint with the police.
Shivamogga SP Lakshmi Prasad stated that based on two FIRs, Vadivelu, Savai Singh, Srikanth, Krishna, Gunda and other two persons were arrested.
Meanwhile, Shashikala Jolle, Minister for Muzarai and Wakf, stated on Saturday, “we are with Hindu activists who are carrying out campaigns against halal meat. I have to learn about halal and jhatka cut. Once I gather information, will talk to CM Bommai and he will take a call on it.”
(With inputs from IANS)