The police in Haryana's Mewat district have been asked to launch a crackdown on meat shops, restaurants and roadside food stalls across the Haryana district to ensure that they do not sell beef ahead of Bakr-Eid. The police have been asked to collect random samples and send them for tests. The chairperson of the government's Gau Sewa Aayog (cow protection commission) Bhani Ram Mangla and Deputy Inspector General of Police Bharti Arora reportedly ordered the checks.
The directive was issued after rumours arose that beef biryani was being sold in several parts of the Muslim-dominated district. The slaughter of animals is a traditional part of Bakr-Eid. While goats are more commonly sacrificed, it is not unusual for cows to be killed in parts of the country.
Arora, who is also in charge of a special task force that checks cow smuggling and slaughter, said the police have already started collecting samples after complaints came in from the town of Ferozpur Jhirka. She told The Hindu that a few samples have already been collected and sent for examination. According to the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Act, anyone selling or storing beef is liable to five years’ imprisonment. However, the sale of buffalo meat is not banned in the state.
Senior Congress leader from Mewat, Aftab Ahmed, called the move "totally vague and unjustified", adding that a particular community was being targeted.
According to The Times of India, the same process of collecting samples and sending them for examination will be carried out in other districts too. A meeting of local leadres will be organised in Punhana to request Muslims to not kill cows on during Eid, which is on September 11. Some citizens from the area have also formed several gau rakshak dals to keep an eye on those involved in cow smuggling.
Correction: This story has been edited to remove an error that misstated the location of Mewat.