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Kashmir mutton deadlock finally over, meat will sell at Rs 535 a kilo

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Srinagar: The months-long deadlock between the government and mutton dealers in Kashmir finally ended on Tuesday after the retailers agreed to sell meat at Rs 535 per kg.

“The retailers finally agreed to sell mutton for Rs 535 per kg without ‘ujri’ (offal) and Rs 490 with offal,” All Kashmir Wholesale Mutton Dealers Association (AKWMDA) president Mehraj-u-din Ganai told The Kashmir Monitor.

Ganai made the comments after a meeting of traders and mutton dealers with Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Pandurang K Pole and senior government officials.

The deadlock between the government and mutton dealers had been going on for the past few months leaving the consumers fuming.

The butchers had gone for a strike after the government fixed the retail rate of mutton at Rs. 480 per kilogram. Even as the butchers had refused to sell mutton at the rates fixed by the government, the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCSCA) officials later launched an extensive drive where it sealed dozens of shops.

Previous rounds of meetings between the government and the mutton dealers had remained inconclusive. During the last meeting, the authorities had proposed Rs 515 per kg.

However, the offer had been rejected by the butchers. The rate had been proposed in the wake of the submission of a report by the 15 member fact-finding team of traders, mutton dealers and civil society members.

As per the AKWMDA estimates, residents in Kashmir valley would usually consume mutton worth around Rs. 4 cr daily.

Pertinently, the sale of fish, camel meat and beef had witnessed a sharp increase in the past few months due to the strike of butchers. However, the sale of chicken remained on the lower side due to the bird flu scare.