The Uttar Pradesh government has banned the sale of halal-certified products with immediate effect in the state. The government has also prohibited the manufacturing, storage, distribution of halal-certified products.
The development came a day after the Uttar Pradesh Police registered cases against several companies and organisations for allegedly issuing “forged halal certificates” to boost their sales.
Here’s what we know so far:
- The case was registered at the Hazratganj police station in Lucknow on Friday based on a complaint lodged by Shailendra Kumar Sharma, a resident of Motijheel Colony in Aishbagh.
- According to a statement issued by the Uttar Pradesh government earlier today, the case has been registered against entities such as the Halal India Private Limited Chennai, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Halal Trust Delhi, Halal Council of India Mumbai, Jamiat Ulama Maharashtra and others for allegedly exploiting religious sentiments to boost sales by providing halal certificates to customers of a specific religion.
- The companies and organisation were booked under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 298 (uttering words, etc, with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings), 384 (extortion), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code, according to PTI.
- Citing the FIR, the Uttar Pradesh government said that the companies allegedly issued forged halal certificates to various companies for financial gains. It also accused them of fostering social animosity and violating public trust.
- “The complainant has raised concerns over a potential large-scale conspiracy, indicating attempts to decrease the sale of products from companies lacking the halal certificate, which is illegal. There is an apprehension that this unfair advantage is being passed on to anti-social and anti-national elements,” it added in the statement.
- The complainant also expressed concern over some of the individuals amassing disproportionate profits and allegedly channelling funds towards “supporting terrorist organisations and anti-national endeavours”, the government’s statement said.
- In his complaint, Sharma had also alleged that an “unrestrained propaganda” is being pursued to discourage the use of products lacking a halal certificate.“This, in turn, harms the business interests of other communities,” he complained.