Why did meat sale ban row erupt this year only, asks Uddhav Thackeray

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray today said the controversy over ban on meat sale during Jain festival 'Paryushan' has ended as far as his party is concerned, but sought to know why it erupted this year.

"What was the special thing that happened this year that there was a controversy," Uddhav told reporters, after meeting a delegation of Jain community leaders at his residence 'Matoshree' in suburban Bandra.

Uddhav Thackeray

"Those who came to meet me today said they have not made the demand (to extend the number of days for meat sale ban during Paryushan).

"We (Sena) have said what we wanted to say and did what we wanted to do. However, we should take care to ensure this controversy does not drag on," he said.

"Impure thoughts during Paryushan is also violence of a kind. I have put a full stop to this issue from Shiv Sena's side," he added.

The meat sale ban has been implemented since 1964. Till 2013 the ban on meat sale during Paryushan was restricted to two days. Last year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation increased it to four days.

Uddhav further said that nobody should try to "force anyone's religion on the other".

"We should limit our religion to our respective homes. Doors of Matoshree were never closed for Jain and Gujarati brethren nor will they be closed in future," he said.

Meanwhile, activists of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) today put up a non-veg food stall outside a Jain-dominated housing society here to protest against meat sale ban during 'Paryushan' festival.

MNS party workers shouted slogans and publicly ate chicken outside 'Jai housing society' in suburban Vile Parle. They also displayed banners which read "Yes, we will eat non-veg".

MNS chief Raj Thackeray had on Thursday said the Jains cannot decide the policies of the state and vowed his party's support to those willing to sell meat in the state.

Members of the Jain community in Mira-Bhayander yesterday sat on a two-hour fast and chanted sacred mantras and songs to protest against the politicisation of the meat ban issue.

Around 700 Jains gathered outside the Bavan Jinalaya Jain temple where priest Acharya Sagarchandra Sagar Surishwar led the chanting and prayers.

Several Jains had objected to the remarks in the Sena mouthpiece 'Saamna' warning Jains not to impose their vegetarian code on other communities.

The Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) had imposed an eight-day ban on the slaughter and sale of meat in the region. The ruling BJP had moved the proposal.

Following public outcry and political pressure the ban was reduced to two days as allowed by the state government.

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