Mutton shortage in Kashmir, butchers selling chicken

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Srinagar, Jan 20 (UNI) The Kashmir valley is facing acute shortage of mutton as almost all meat shops remained closed and butchers are now selling chicken.

In the past, mutton shortage was being faced only when the Srinagar-Jammu national highway remained closed for a week. But this time due to zero import of sheep and goats from other states, particularly from main mandi at Delhi, butchers had closed their shops.

Official sources said the wholesale mutton dealers from Kashmir are unable to import sheep and goats because of strike in the Bakra Mandi at Delhi against the alleged harassment by the supporters of Maneka Gandhi to them in Haryana.

The prices of chicken has also increased by Rs 15 to Rs 20 per kg during the past one week.

Kashmir imports maximum mutton from northern states, including Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, as an average of 5000 sheeps and goats are being consumed daily in Kashmir. However, the number increased during festivals and marriages.

More than 30,000 chicken were also being consumed by the people in the valley everyday, maximum of which also comes from outside.

The crisis would further intensify if the strike in Delhi mandi does not end soon, as wholesale mandis in other northern states are not in a position to meet the total requirement.

The wholesale dealers from Kashmir alleged that they face problems when they enter Haryana as activists of an NGO headed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Meneka Gandhi are asking them to pay huge money for allowing them to carry 140 sheeps in a truck.

More than 20 truck-loads of sheep were arriving everyday in valley before the strike.

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