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Indian Muslims Replace Eid Sacrifices with Fish, Eggs | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Muslims offer Eid al-Adha prayers at Feroz Shah Kotla fort in Delhi, September 13, 2016. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

New Delhi- Qadiri family in New Delhi took a decision not to eat any meat during Eid al-Adha this year. Qraishy family as well decided to replace meat with fish and eggs during the Eid.

Just like these two families, many other Muslims in India especially in the northern region are afraid of eating cow because of the Indian Police inspection of dishes to ensure they did not contain beef.

Muslims face a difficulty in India especially on Eid al-Adha; as people could be randomly humiliated, attacked and prosecuted over eating cow meat. Many Hindus consider cows sacred and the slaughter of the animal is banned in several states.

A high-ranking officer, however, said that the police will not permit people to enforce the law by themselves and that strict procedures will be taken with regards to cow-protection groups that are causing chaos. An increasing number of restaurants in New Delhi are now offering only chicken and lamb meat to protect themselves from being accused of offering cow meat to customers.

A restaurant owner said that “two years ago I removed meals that include cow meat from the menu” and now he only offers fish and vegetarian meals. The owner, who preferred to remain anonymous, added that this was the perfect decision back then because many were being assaulted for just transporting cow meat.

Cow meat represents only 5% of India’s total production of meat yet the fear of cow protection groups surged with several attacks on anyone consuming or transporting meat taking place. Some restaurants even ask their customers not to utter the word “cow meat”.

In Haryana, any individual proven to have slaughtered a cow, which is a sacred animal in India, or eaten cow meat is subject to a ten-year prison sentence and an INR100,000 penalty.