Mumbai, March 23 Thousands of people, including butchers, students and political leaders, will walk together in a march here on Tuesday to protest the ban on beef in Maharashtra, an activist said on Monday.
“The livelihood of over a million people directly or indirectly engaged in the beef trade and allied industry has been adversely affected by the ban on beef in the state,” said Sarvashramik Sangh secretary Vijay Dalvi, one of the organisers of the march.
“This has hiked the prices of other non-vegetarian items like mutton, chicken and fish which, in turn, will lead to spiraling in the menu prices in restaurants and eateries,” said Dalvi.
The march will start from Deonar Abattoir and culminate at Azad Maidan, he said.
Besides the beef industry representatives, around 150 students of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, NGOs, leaders of the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party, the Samajwadi Party and others are expected to join the march.
According to a state government survey, Dalvi said, there were 978,000 licensees engaged directly in the trade in beef, mutton and chicken in the state, of which an estimated 20 percent were in the beef trade.
Besides, there are allied categories like packers, tanners, small farmers who used to sell their animals for slaughter and others who have been hit by the ban.
“Contrary to perceptions, all communities are engaged in a big way in the beef trade, including Hindus, Muslims, Dalits, OBCs, etc., and they are all suffering now,” Dalvi claimed.
Lawyer Vishal Seth and student Shaina Sena have filed petitions in the Bombay High Court last week challenging the implementation of the the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, which has banned slaughter, consumption and trading of beef.
A division bench of Justice V.M. Kanade and Justice A.R. Joshi is likely to take up the petition for hearing in due course.