Maharshtra DGP asks cops not to harass meat dealers on pretext of checking

MUMBAI,SOMENDRA SHARMA, ASHUTOSH SHUKLA: Following allegations of harassment and extortion from government officials on the pretext of checking transportation of beef and mutton, the office of Director General of Police (DGP) on Friday issued a directive to all unit commanders (superintendents of police) to immediately stop such malpractices. The directive also mentioned that frequent checking should not be resorted to merely harass dealers in this business.

According to DGP office sources, a high-level meeting had taken place at chief minister’s Sahyadri bungalow on Friday where dealers of beef and mutton raised their issues before Devendra Fadnavis. DGP Satish Mathur too was present in the meeting.

Without naming Gau Rakshaks, a police officer on the condition of anonymity, said, “Beef and mutton dealers had alleged that while beef and mutton are being transported in or out of the state by their men, they are being harassed by government agencies and anti-social elements sometimes. The dealers have also alleged that they are also extorted.”

“Most harassment happens on the Mumbai-Agra Highway. They stop us even when we have all the permissions in place,” said Aslam Qureshi, president, All India Sheep and Goat Breeder and Dealers Association.

He added: “Most of the problem is faced in the Dhule region and right up to Thane and Deonar. Police take money to the tune of Rs20,000. Since the chances of goats dying in the truck is high, people end up paying.”

Reacting to the issues raised by the dealers, the DGP office on issued a directive to all unit commanders stating that “such malpractices should not occur and frequent checking should not lead to harassment. If the directives were not followed with diligence, then suitable action would be initiated”.