BMC comes up with policy for slaughtering during Bakri-Eid, NGO objects to new rules

Mumbai: This year’s Bakri Eid festival would be governed by a new policy, framed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The civic body has tried to digitise the permissions and other related issues pertaining to slaughtering of animals during the festival.

This policy has been framed though with a delay of nearly a year as it was in 2018, when the BMC had informed the Bombay High Court of coming up with a policy within four weeks.

However, the new policy was submitted to a bench of Justices Satyaranajan Dharmadhikari and Sandeep Shinde, last week. The new policy has been enforced from August 1, 2019.

By virtue of this new policy, the BMC has empowered ward level officers and also assistant commissioners to grant permissions for slaughtering of animals. The civic body has also decided to go digital for granting permissions.

“The citizens seeking to slaughter animals for festival can make online applications by mentioning the exact place, where they might be sacrificing or slaughtering the animals. These places, would be duly notified by the assistant municipal commissioners of each ward,” the new policy states.

The policy further states that the civic authorities would allow slaughtering of animals in slaughter markets and non-vegetarian sections of the general markets. However, no slaughtering would be permitted in places near educational schools, hospitals and religious places of different faiths, the policy reads.

It further states that assistant commissioners and also the engineers of solid waste management (ward level) can take objections to the permissions, if they find that the same is not as per law.

Even the senior police inspectors of each police station and also traffic inspectors are allowed to cancel the permissions, if they think slaughtering at the permitted place could create communal tensions.

The civic body has allowed such applicants to erect pandals at their societies or other permitted places, so as to ensure that slaughtering isn't exposed to public.

This policy has not gone down well with NGO - Jiv Maitri Trust, which has pointed out several loopholes in it. According to the Trust's advocate Siddh Vidya, the policy must not allow any slaughtering outside the official and designated abattoir.

"The objective of the policy must be to completely stop slaughtering of animals outside licensed abattoir and policy should focus towards such comprehensive plan which could deal with slaughter of animals outside abattoir," the objections filed by Vidya, read.

It further states that the civic body has missed on many a things. "The discharge of effluents into marine coastal areas were also not taken into consideration.

Punishment is also not being mentioned, in the event if the terms and conditions are not complied with. No arrangements made in the policy in case any epidemic being spread in Mumbai after the sacrifice of approx. more than 2.5 lakhs of goats and sheep outside Deonar abattoir."

The trust has further demanded that only fit animals be slaughtered and those unfit, must be kept in a shelter and returned to their owners only after three days of the festival. The trust has also demanded one applicant one permission formula.

"Each person shall be entitled to only one permission to sacrifice one animal. One person should not be allowed to sacrifice more than one animal in any circumstances.

No person should be allowed to remove any live animals from Deonar Abattoir for sacrificial slaughter," the objections read. These objections and also the policy would be dealt by the HC on Monday.

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