Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday went into crackdown mode after Chief minister Yogi Adityanath sought an action plan for closure of slaughter houses and a "blanket ban" on cow smuggling, as illegal abattoirs and meat shops across the state faced the heat.
"The priority of the state government is to close the illegal slaughter houses in the state, and at the same time put a blanket ban on all the mechanised slaughter houses," Chief Secretary, UP, Rahul Bhatnagar said.
Senior officials across the state's 75 districts were directed to inspect the slaughter houses.
"If any illegal slaughter house is found operating, then it must be closed immediately, and penal actions must be initiated against the guilty," Bhatnagar said adding that the Urban Development Department had already issued an order in this regard.
As per the order, District Magistrates have been directed to form 10-member committees under their chairmanship to ensure that illegal slaughter houses are closed.
Superintendent of police, regional officer of UP Pollution Control Board and chief veterinary officer of the districts would also be a part of the teams.
During the inspection of abattoirs, their proximity to residential areas and religious places should be kept in mind and steps taken to ensure that illegal slaughter houses are not at all allowed to operate on road sides, the officials have been told.
The police has been asked to provide adequate protection.
Earlier in the day, Adityanath directed police officials to prepare an action plan for closure of slaughter houses as the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) swung into action and sealed nine meat shops in the state capital.
Adityanath also ordered a "blanket ban" on smuggling of cows and said "zero tolerance" would be exercised in this regard, official sources said.
The BJP manifesto had said that all the illegal slaughter houses would be closed and there would be a blanket ban on all the mechanised slaughter houses.
Amidst the official crackdown, a separate incident in Hathras area triggered panic as three shops selling meat and fish were set afire by unidentified persons.
Police have registered a case in the matter.
Apart from being a part of his party's manifesto, the crackdown also does not seem to be at variance with Adityanath's personal convictions.
It emerged that Adityanath has turned to his personal website to seek public opinion on curbing cow slaughter.