Srinagar, Jan 13: Almost all the mutton shops in the Kashmir valley are closed and butchers are now selling chicken because of zero import of sheeps from other states, particuarly from main mandi at Delhi.
The dealers from Kashmir are unable to import sheep because of indefinite strike by wholesale dealers in Bakra Mandi at Delhi against the alleged harassment by the supporters of Menaka Gandhi to them in Haryana.
The valley is facing acute shortage of mutton and many butchers were seen selling chicken, prices of which has also increased by Rs 10 to Rs 15 per kg during the past one week.
Kashmir imports maximum mutton from nothern states, including Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. At an average of 5000 sheeps and goats are being consumed daily in Kashmir. However, the number increased during festival and marriages.
People in the valley also consume more than 30,000 chicken everyday, maximum of which also comes from outside.
The wholesale dealers in Kashmir believe that if the strike in Delhi mandi, started last week, will not end soon, the crisis will further increase as mandis in other northern states are not in a position to meet the total requirement.
They alleged that they are facing problems when they enter Haryana as activists of a NGO headed by Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Meneka Gandhi are asking them to pay huge money for allowing them to carry 140 sheep in a truck. Otherwise they have to bring only 40 sheeps in a truck against Jammu and Kashmir governments approved 140 sheeps. The activists forcibly unload the sheeps, they further added.
A senior functionary of the Kashmiri dealers association said against 20 truck-loads of sheep every day till first week of this month, only three to four trucks were arriving here now that too with less number of sheep because of strike at Delhi.