Kashmir Indepth

Kashmiris go mutton crazy; Mutton dealers say supply unavailable, ‘Ask Govt to clear the air on unavailability of mutton’

Ishtiyaq Ahmed

Srinagar, April 13 (KINS): People across Kashmir are fighting the battle against Covid-19 like other matured region across the globe, but one that continues to irritate them is shortage of mutton.

While fight against the pandemic is on, mutton crazy people are running from pillar to post to find mutton.

Over the past few weeks, Kashmir is facing severe shortage of mutton due to the lack of supply that used to come from Punjab, Haryana and New Delhi.

 “All mandis are closed due to the pandemic and we haven’t received sufficient stock of sheep or goats since past three weeks,” said Abdur Rehman Regoo, a mutton dealer in Pampore area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

He said whatever sheep he had in stock were sold and his shed where he used to store sheep, is empty.

Same is the case in Srinagar, the summer capital city, where mutton dealers are facing serious shortage of stock that includes sheep and goat.

The dealers say that no supply reaches them and whatever they had in stock has been sold out. “People knock our doors early morning asking for mutton. We have only one reply for them “there is no supply,” General Secretary Wholesale Mutton Dealers Association Mehraj-ud- Din told Kashmir indepth News Service (KINS).

He said that dozens of mutton dealers and meat sellers are facing huge losses. “We were yet to recover the losses inflicted on us by long shutdown due to roll back of Article 370. Now the pandemic has come again as our biggest enemy,” he maintained.

Director Consumers Affairs and Public Distribution (CA&PD) Bashir Ahmad said that pandemic has choked the supplies. “If things improve, supplies will reach Kashmir,” he told KINS.

Kashmiri people are known voracious mutton eaters and there is not even a single house, that didn’t cook mutton dish at least once a week.

Many people however questioned that if poultry supply is reaching Kashmir, why is there mutton shortage.

The mutton dealers have, however, urged the government to direct the Animal and Sheep Husbandry department to activate local supplies for the mutton dealers. “We have number of Sheep farms across Kashmir, and if we get the supplies from them, we can overcome the shortage,” Mehraj Din said.

He, however, said that recently many mutton shops were sealed, which indicates that government doesn’t want mutton to be sold.

“We also urge the government to clear the air, whether it doesn’t want meat to be sold in Covid-19 crises. If it is so, we should be informed,” he said. (KINS)

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