The order by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Ajoy Mehta came days after a civic body took a similar decision in the adjoining Thane district prohibiting meat sale for eight days from September 11 to 18 when the Jain community will observe fasting period 'Paryushan'.

According to the order passed by BMC -- ruled by Shiv Sena and BJP-- yesterday, the ban on meat sale would be enforced on four days - September 10, 13, 17 and 18. Mehta did not reply to a message sent by reporter for his comments over the decision.

However, civic officials claimed that this is not a new decision and has been in practice for last several years, adding that the prohibition will not affect the sale of fish and other seafood. They said the step was taken in view of the growing demand not only by the Jain community, but also from some corporators.

"On these four days, BMC slaughter houses will be shut and sale of meat will also be prohibited. The market department (of BMC) has been asked to enforce the ban and ensure no animal is slaughtered and no meat is sold anywhere in the city," a senior civic official stated.

The BJP insisted it was 'not a ban' but 'being tolerant towards very community in the spirit of secularism'. However, its ally Shiv Sena, which has a majority in the country's richest corporation BMC, said the ban is unsupportable and alleged that the BJP was 'trying to appease' some sections of the society.

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