Ahead of the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha, the Mumbai civic body – Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has issued a fresh circular on Friday permitting religious sacrifice of 150 water buffaloes per day from August 1 to August 3 for Eid between 6 am and 6 pm only at the Deonar abattoir.
According to reports, the BMC issued such a notification to restrict the slaughter of buffaloes ahead of the Eid after Bombay high court issued a direction to the civic body on the same.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Sarang Kotwal on Friday, while hearing a PIL, asked special civic counsel Anil Sakhare to submit a circular to the court regarding the number of buffaloes allowed to sacrifice for Bakra-Eid festival from this Saturday.
The BMC circular has now restricted slaughtering to 150 buffaloes at the abattoir due to coronavirus guidelines and this would continue till further orders. The circular by BMC has now asked for strict compliance of social distancing and other norms under coronavirus pandemic guidelines, including compulsory masks, and ensure the use of hand sanitizers.
The bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Sarang Kotwal, who heard the PIL filed by Al-Quraish Human Welfare Association and others seeking its intervention after pointing to a July 25 BMC order restricting the slaughter to take place at the abattoir alone.
Petitioners reject court order, to move to High Court
Imran Qureshi, the Vice-President of All-India Jamiat, said it was shocking that BMC put a restriction of 150 cattle despite us mentioning 5,000 in our PIL. We will move the high court for contempt of court on Saturday, Qureshi added.
The PIL petitioners Mohammad Asif Qureshi and Haji Kudratullah Quereshi contended that usually during Bakra-Eid about 15,000 sacrifices would take place at the abattoir but during the pandemic given financial difficulties the number of sacrifices would be less than 40 per cent. The petitioners had said since the abattoir was closed, without a special order, sacrificing water buffaloes there would not be possible.
The PIL, however, said that the Deonar Abattoir was permitting 150 to be slaughtered each day during the lockdown and on general days more than 6,000 water buffaloes would be slaughtered each week at the abattoir.
However, while disposing of the PIL, the High Court noted, “The civic administration and police shall ensure there is no remissness in abiding by terms of the circular”.
Maharashtra govt gives relaxation to Muslims ahead of Eid
Earlier, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra headed by ‘secular’ Shiv Sena had reportedly announced certain restrictions imposed in the coronavirus guidelines ahead of Eid.
Initially, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government had issued a set of guidelines for celebrating the Muslim festival of Bakra Eid on July 31 and August 1 amid the coronavirus pandemic. As per the guidelines, people were asked to offer namaz at home instead of thronging nearby mosques and asked to purchase animals online or over the phone. The guidelines called for a symbolic celebration of Bakra Eid, which rankled a raft of Muslims, including Muslim legislators.
However, a group of disgruntled Muslim leaders of Maha Vikas Aghadi government raised their grievances against the restrictions placed by the Maharashtra government ahead of Eid al-Adha, leading Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to relax these norms to benefit Muslims ahead of the Eid.