‘Followers of Meneka Gandhi harass mutton dealers’A M DAR
Srinagar, Jan 12: The indefinite strike by mutton dealers in Bakra Mandi in Indian capital city is going to badly hit the mutton supply to Kashmir Valley. The mani, which is Asia’s largest sheep mandi, is closed since Thursday following indefinite strike by mutton wholesale dealers there against the alleged harassment and highhandedness by the followers of social activist and BJP leader Meneka Gandhi. “Srinagar is the main market of Bakra Mandi in North India. If the strike continues there will be acute shortage of mutton in the Valley. Amirtsar cannot cater to the huge demand of Srinagar,” said Khazir Muhammad Pampori, a wholesale mutton dealer. “J&K government allows us to carry 140 sheep in a truck while Haryana only 40. When we load 140 sheep in Delhi, we are stopped in Haryana by the activists of Meneka Gandhi’s NGO who forcibly unload truck and ask for huge amount of money,” said Manzoor Ahmad Kanoon, president All Kashmir Wholesale Mutton Dealers Association. He said the wholesalers were not facing any such problem till some time ago but intervention of political activists and goons had made it impossible for the wholesale dealers to get stock from Delhi or Haryana. When contacted president Chinar Union of Sheep and Goats’ Suppliers, Bakra Mandi, Firdous Ahmad Wani said the harassment of mutton dealers by the activists of an NGO headed by Meneka Gandhi in Haryana had badly affected the business of wholesale dealers of Bakra Mandi. “The usual supply to Srinagar in January up till last year was around 20 truckloads of sheep a day but this year it is just three to four trucks and no supply since January 10, following strike by the wholesale dealers,” said Wani. “We have taken up the case with the authorities concerned and we are hopeful that they would definitely do something to stop the goons and anti-social activists from harassing and extorting money from mutton dealers,” he said. He said, “If there is 70 year old law in Haryana that no truck can carry more than 40 sheep together. Let our cases be dealt lawfully. Hardly any truck would be stopped by the officials concerned till some months ago and the seized truck would be released along with livestock after the dealers were condemned to fine. But the officials and local goons have now made it a routine to fleece the dealers. Now more and more people are joining the bandwagon of so-called NGO activists to extort money from the dealers in the name of animal protection. As a result, the Kashmir dealers have almost stopped to buy stocks from Delhi Bakra Mandi.” Meanwhile, the president of Livestock Market Traders Association, Eid Gah Road, Saddar Bazar, Delhi, Muhammad Tehseen Qureshi has threatened to join strike with the Bakra Mandi dealers, if the governments of Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Haryana and Rajisthan will not take effective steps to stop the activists of NGO, People for Animals (PFA), from harassing the mutton dealers of Kashmir and grabbing money from them through illegal means. Talking to Greater Kashmir over phone from Delhi, Qureshi appealed to the centre government for intervention and action against the so-called PFA activists, who in the garb of animal protection were allegedly extorting huge money from the mutton dealers. He also demanded abolition of law, disallowing truckers from carrying more than 40 sheep together in one truck. He pointed out that in some states truckers are even allowed to load even more 150 sheep together in a truck.