Eid 2020: 35 trucks with livestock worth Rs 10 crore stopped at Maharashtra-Gujarat border
With govt moving sale of cattle online ahead of Eid, 35 trucks full of goats, buffaloes and chicken are starving at the state border
With the Maharashtra government banning the sale of goats in the open markets ahead of Bakr Eid, those dealing in the business are in a fix. Several truckloads of goats, buffaloes, and chicken collectively worth Rs 10 crore are stuck at the Gujarat-Maharashtra border since 2 am on Monday, as they have not been allowed entry in view of government guidelines, which have permitted only online sale of livestock.
Some others, who managed to cross the border earlier, have not been allowed to travel beyond Vasai-Virar, where they are currently stuck.
Speaking to mid-day, Khwaja Ibrahim Qureshi, exporter of goats, said, "I bought the goats from Ajmer and was supposed to sell them at markets in Mumbai, Mira Road, Jogeshwari, Mumbra and other locations. But the cops are not allowing us to enter the state saying there is a restriction on transporting cattle till August 5."
'Animals will die'
"Goat farmers make good money during this festival but the government has banned their sale in open markets. How will we sell online? The government should have taken a decision at least 15 days ago so that we could have looked for an alternative," he added.
He further said, "We have already travelled a lot and the animals are tired. They need to take rest and have food as well. We cannot bring the animals out as it's raining and they might fall ill. And if they are not taken out, they will die. We are feeling extremely helpless. Whatever we have invested is at stake."
Truckloads of cattle are stuck at the Maharashtra-Gujarat border since 2 am on Monday. Pics/Hanif Patel
The civic body conducted a meeting with the trustees of masjids in the Vasai-Virar-Nalasopara region on Monday and asked the community to strictly adhere to the rules. "We are law abiding citizens, but selling goats online is difficult for Bakr Eid, as the buyers have to physically check their health condition, number of teeth, horns and several other things," said Fazle Haque B Qureshi, who attended the meeting with the assistant municipal commissioner and Manikpur police in Vasai West on Monday.
'Why this hypocrisy?'
Social worker Avinash Kushe said, "Before taking the decision the government should have held meetings with leaders of the community. The civic body called us for a meeting just a few days before the festival. They should have helped in promoting online sale of goats but nothing has been done. Now, just like the buyers, the sellers too are confused. We do understand social distancing is important but goats were easily transported in the lockdown and meat was sold in markets, then why this hypocrisy ahead of Bakr Eid?"
Goat farmer Yasin Memon of Vasai Gaon has incurred a loss of Rs 10 lakh. He said, "We are now sending pictures of goats on WhatsApp groups. The new rule has also forced us to scale down the price to Rs 300 per kg from Rs 450 per kg. Most people don't want to buy as they have lost jobs due to the pandemic."
Mohammed Azeemuddin Khan, maulvi at Auliya masjid in Malwani, said, "Though slaughtering goats in public places is not allowed, many traders are sending such videos to buyers on their phones. Cops should take action against them."
However, hit hard by the pandemic, many people have not been able to purchase goats this year.
Mahim resident Yasin Hamidani said, "This year I couldn't buy a goat due to the financial crisis. I run a Media Care Brand Solutions PR agency, but I have been jobless for the past four months."
Trader Ali Haider Ansari from Mumbra Mart said, "This year not many people are buying goats and I have also reduced the price to R18,000. We are sending videos to our customers but it's not as authentic as a physical purchase. We send goat slaughtering videos to customers on their phones and then send the meat in three packages."
When contacted, police inspector Ajay Vasave of Talasari police station said, "We are not allowing the traders to cross the border as they don't have valid permission. Only online sale of cattle is allowed. They are not following the government guidelines. They should have valid permission and order books."
Day Bakr Eid will be celebrated
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