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Mutton ‘crisis’: Retailers sell meat secretly at home, govt files 170 FIRs

Srinagar: Amid mutton shortage, few retailers have started selling meat secretly at their homes.

Several other retailers have switched over to selling the chicken even as both the government and mutton dealers are refusing to budge from their respective positions.

 

“Some retailers are selling meat in the wee hours or at their homes in the evening just like they used to do during the lockdown. Others are selling chicken. People by and large are unable to buy mutton. The government has acted tough against the retailers but it also has to take steps to make mutton available in the markets,” said Muzamil Amin, a local.

The mutton shops, by and large, have remained closed for the past few weeks as the retailers are refusing to sell meat at the government fixed rate of Rs. 480 per kilo.

Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCSCA) director Bashir Ahmad Khan said the department has received complaints about mutton being sold at homes by the retailers and that they will continue to take strict action against the violators.

“We have registered over 170 FIRs. As far as resorting to the malpractice of selling at homes, we have received few complaints….we had received complaints from Botakadal area and we registered FIRs there too,” Khan said.

He said the government was trying to make mutton available in the markets and a few retailers have started selling mutton at fixed rates.

“We request the people that they should not buy mutton at higher rates. Making meat available is not our domain. We only fix and implement rates only…. (But) we can show you around 20 videos where retailers are selling meat at Rs. 480. One person from HMT is selling ‘raan’ and shoulder meat only. He said ‘raan’ and shoulder meat is liked the most here…and one dealer was willing to make this meat available for Rs. 470 per kilo only,” said Khan.

All Kashmir Wholesale Mutton Dealers Association (AKWMDA), Mehraj-ud-Din maintained that the government fixed rates were not fair.

“We do not want black-marketing to happen…..but we have made our point clear. It is not possible for us to sell mutton at these rates,” he said.