LUCKNOW: Days after renaming the Faizabad district as Ayodhya, the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh is reportedly considering a proposal to ban the sale of liquor and meat in the entire district.
The demand to ban the sale of liquor and meat in the district has been made by local seers.
Speaking to reporters on the issue, UP government spokesperson Srikant Sharma had said on Sunday said that the state government was very much aware of the demands made by the seers in Ayodhya.
“The government will ban the sale of liquor and meat within the legal framework,” Sharma said.
Acharya Satyendra Das was also quoted that Ayodhya is a sacred place and meat and liquor was never sold in the city, adding that the proposed ban will lead to a healthier lifestyle.
“Ayodhya has been a sacred place for centuries, meat and liquor were never sold here. Now that Faizabad has been renamed as Ayodhya, the ban should be applicable to the whole district. The ban will end the impurity and pollution and evoke a feeling of purity. This ban will help people to be healthier,” Das said.
The demand has drawn support from other seers as well, one of whom, namely Dharmdas Pakshkar of Sri Hanuman Gadi Temple, has called for a ban on the sale of meat across the nation.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Iqbal Ansari, a key petitioner in the Babri Masjid case, said that the final decision will be taken by the state government itself.
However, the proposal to ban meat and alcohol in the entire Ayodhya district has received a mix response from the public as it feels the ban will directly impact owners of meat and liquor shops.
Mohammed Shahzad, who owns a meat shop, called the demand “wrong and unjustified.”
“This is my only source of income and if there is a ban on the sale of meat and eggs, how will we earn anything? We have families to provide for. It was fine until the rule was limited only till Ayodhya, now just because they have changed the name, doesn’t mean it shall be applicable in the whole district. There are around 200-250 meat shops here, if put a ban on the sale, they should provide us with a job,” he explained.
While Shahzad was against the ban, there are few shopkeepers who supported the ban. Sushil Jaiswal, a liquor shop owner, said that he supports the ban as what is right shall be done. Speaking about the losses that would be incurred, Jaiswal said, “People will find something else to earn money.”
Faizabad district was renamed Ayodhya on November 6 by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at the Deepotsav event.
The decision to rechristen Faizabad district as Ayodhya has not gone down well with many of its residents, who believe it is an “unnecessary step” taken for “political” reasons and will eventually “erase the identity” of the historical town.
Another section, however, welcomed the Uttar Pradesh government’s move, saying it endorses the legacy of ancient Ayodhya and will enhance its “glory”.