The Uttar Pradesh government has banned Halal certified food products in the state with immediate effect. This move has sparked a row in the state and in the political circle. Now, it is prohibited in the state to produce, store, distribute and sell any food product with halal certification. But, there’s a twist here. This prohibition is only limited within the state boundaries. This means that export of the halal certified items can continue, but the public of the state cannot utilise halal products. The officials have stated that this prohibition has been imposed in the interest of public health and to prevent confusion. The commissioner’s order states that the right to decide the quality of food item lies only with the authorities under the Food Safety and Standards Act. Let’s first know what Halal food is. Halal is an Arabic word meaning permissible. In Islamic belief system, it is forbidden to consume food products which do not match Halal. The criteria for Halal meat includes the manner of animal’s death, which guides how it should be processed and stored. The state’s order reads, “Halal certification of food products is a parallel system which creates confusion regarding the quality of food items and is completely against the basic intention of the said Act and is not tenable under Section 89 of the said Act.”” The state government has warned of strict actions against those who violate the ban. This order from the Yogi Adityanath led government came after the Uttar Pradesh police filed multiple cases against several firms for selling halal certified products by using fake documents. This FIR was lodged at the Hazratganj Police Station on a complaint by Shailendra Kumar Sharma, who accused that these companies are issuing halal certificates without any authority for some products to increase their sales. The complaint alleged a potential conspiracy to ensure lower sales of products that do not have a halal certificate. The complaint also alleged that it was harming business interests of other communities. The complaint termed this as a malicious attempt to seek financial benefits by issuing halal certification for items which are meant for common citizens. The complaint said that this is a pre-planned strategy to sow class hatred, create division and weaken the country.
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