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Halal or Not? Hoteliers’ body admits ‘doubt over slaughter’

Srinagar, Feb 19: Accepting the uncertainty over the slaughter of chicken imported to the Valley, the hoteliers’ body claims to have asked all its constituents to not use dressed wheat meat in their kitchens.
The Kashmir Monitor on Monday reported that dressed chicken imported into the Valley has been declared “unhygienic and not halal” by the Department of Animal Husbandry—a report ignored by the traders and law enforcing agencies.
President Kashmir Hotels and Restaurant Owners Federation (KHAROF), Waheed Ahmad A Malik, however, told The Kashmir Monitor that he has directed his office to ask the hoteliers not to buy the dressed chicken.
“Hoteliers from Srinagar and Pahalgam never ever use this dressed chicken. We purchase fresh mutton and chicken from the locality, where these birds are slaughtered in front of our eyes. But still I have asked my office to see whether it is being used anywhere in hotels or restaurants,” he said.
Malik said he too believed that the chicken was unhygienic.
“Last time, I tried to buy the dressed chicken for my family, but couldn’t, as its colour was too strange for me to buy. It is not frozen even and comes from outside. Definitely, there comes the issue of it being halal or not,” he said.
He said they would take check if any hotel or restaurant uses the dressed chicken.
The sellers, however, continue to argue against the doubt.
“The chicken is being sold by Muslims only in New Delhi. It comprises of many, who have performed Hajj or Umrah. I myself visited there to check whether it was halal or not,” Aijaz Ahmad Kaloo, a trader from Srinagar said.
He said the poultry farm in the Valley were “hatching a conspiracy” to affect their trade.
“They can’t see that this trade is flourishing here. So, apparently, they are getting jealous and using various departments to pull us down,” Kaloo said.
About the refrigerated vans, he said the Food Safety Department has directed them to use these vehicles only in summers.
“Its winter now and everything here freezes. We bring it in ice boxes, which are better for carrying chicken meat. We are three sellers here and have been following direction of Health Department and government seriously,” Kaloo said.
As per the dealers, nearly four to five quintals of chicken was imported to Kashmir daily.
They claim that Rs 900 was being paid as tax per kilogram of chicken to the government.