Jains fast to protest civic body stand on meat ban issue

Mumbai: A group of Jains today observed fast in adjoining Bhayander to protest against the failure of civic body in the area to implement a ban on sale of meat during 'Paryushan' festival and some "communally-divisive statements" made by politicians.

The community members held a nearly two-hour long fast in Bhayander, whose civic body first decided to ban sale of meat during 'Paryushan' (Jains' fasting festival from Sep 11-18) for eight days but later reduced it to two days due to widespread criticism the move attracted.

Acharya Sagarchandra Surishwarji Maharaj, a Jain priest, told reporters their religion is based on principle of non-violence and the community is surprised that the civic body did not implement its own resolution on meat sale ban.

"We are astonished to see communally-divisive statements made by some politicians (who opposed the meat ban). They are forgetting contributions Jain have made for the economic growth of Mumbai," he said.

Meanwhile, as pictures of people protesting outside a Jain 'derasar' (temple) did the rounds on the social media, Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray said Shiv Sena, which opposed the meat ban, has nothing to do with the incident.

"The Shiv Sena will not protest and does not endorse such a protest that destroys the sanctity of a Jain temple. Earlier today, (Shiv Sena chief) Uddhavji reiterated that the problem is not with following of 'Paryushan', but the unfair imposition of vegetarian code on others," Thackeray said.

The Sena President has also made it clear that with the roll back of the compulsory vegetarian code, the meat ban issue is over as far as Shiv Sena is concerned, he said.

"I reiterate that those protesting outside the Jain temple do not belong to Shiv Sena," Thackeray said.

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