India

Biryani beef ban: Indian police check Mewat rice dishes

Plates of mutton biryani are served at an outside eatery in Lucknow on November 22, 2014. Image copyright AFP
Image caption The aromatic mixed rice dish can be made with different kinds of meat

Police in the north-western Indian state of Haryana will check dishes of mutton biryani to ensure they do not contain beef, a senior official has told the BBC.

A vet will help officers inspect the mixed rice dish in Mewat district, Haryana Cow Service Commission Chairman Bhani Ram Mangla said.

India's Hindu majority see cows as a sacred animal but many other Indians eat the meat.

Beef is banned in Haryana.

"We have been getting lots of complaints that beef is mixed in the biryani in Mewat district so I have ordered the police to physically check the biryani sold in eateries there," Mr Mangla told the BBC World Service's Amitabha Bhattasali.

Meat samples would be sent to a laboratory for testing, he said.

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Mewat, located 100km (62 miles) from the Indian capital Delhi, is a predominantly Muslim area and has seen communal riots in the past.

A special police task force has been set up in Haryana to prevent cow slaughter and cow trafficking.

Volunteers are also being trained to keep watch in remote villages whether anyone is slaughtering a cow.

Nooruddin Noor, a member of the Mewat Bar Association and a prominent social activist, said the idea that Muslims in Mewat were putting beef in mutton biryani was a "baseless allegation".

"It's an attempt to disturb the communal harmony we have here in Mewat," he said.

"Biryani has been sold in our district for ages. They never mix beef. However if the police wants the check, we don't have any problem."

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