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Mutton retailers go on indefinite strike over ‘unrealistic rates’ in Kashmir

For the past week, the mutton shops remained shut as sellers are refusing to sell meat at the newly fixed rates by the UT administration.

Srinagar, J&K –

The mutton sellers in Kashmir have gone on an indefinite strike after the government fixed the meat rate at Rs. 480 per kilogram in the valley.

For the past week, the mutton shops remained shut as sellers are refusing to sell meat at the newly fixed rates by the UT administration.

When Digpu News contacted the President of meat sellers in the southern Kashmir’s Pulwama district, Parvez Ahmad, said, “This strike is not just about the rates. In fact, it is about the honor of our profession as well.”

When asked to explain, he said, “Each and every day, we are being harassed by the officials from FCS&CA for one thing or the other. Our shops are being sealed and we are not being heard at all.”

Another meat seller, who didn’t want to reveal his name, said, “This is totally an unjust order (referring to the revised rates) and we can’t continue with the profession on such unrealistic rates.”

“Our suppliers have denied to continue the supply of sheep as our offering is quite low as compared to meat sellers from other States. We are forced to go on strike as opening our shops is akin to inviting losses on a daily basis,” he opens up, with emotional outburst.

Mutton retailers go on indefinite strike over ‘unrealistic rates’ in Kashmir - Digpu News
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It is not an issue for the mutton sellers only. Common people too have been equally affected due to unavailability of sheep meat.

“For the past some days, mutton shops have remained shut. The problem needs a one-time solution and the administration should ensure to find a middle-ground in order to diffuse the crises,” an elderly man, Mohammad Shafi, said while accusing the authorities of callousness.

After a few attempts, we failed to contact the President of Mutton Retailers’ Association. However, a meat seller who recently attended a meeting of the association said that sellers by and large preferred to keep shops shut fearing raids by the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCSCA) department.

Earlier, General Secretary of All Kashmir Wholesale Mutton Dealers Association (AKWMDA) Mehraj-ud-Din said there were no fresh supplies due to the government fixed rates.

He had maintained, “Even in Delhi, mutton is sold at Rs. 600 per kilogram in retail. When we told our suppliers about the rates fixed here, they refused to sell sheep. As a result, there is no supply. We fear if the situation continues, it will result in black-marketing. We do not want that to happen. But the rates fixed by the government are not reasonable.”

On the other hand, officials of the FCS&CA say that action against the erring mutton dealers (who will sell 1 kilogram of sheep meat at more than Rs. 480) will continue, signaling that the end of this strike is quite far.

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