LUCKNOW: A Muslim outfit has demanded ban on consumption of liquor in Uttar Pradesh, saying it is a pilgrim centre for both Hindus and Muslims.
The Ittehad-e-Millat also plans to launch a campaign against mass slaughter of bovine without their proper breeding, saying due to it the cattle stock was depleting.
"Consumption of liquor is considered bad in all religions and Uttar Pradesh is a land of faith for both Hindus and Muslims," Council President Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan told PTI.
"Bareilly (in UP) is centre of faith for Sunni sect and Deobandis," he added.
"If liquor is sold in UP then it means that it is sold in a place of pilgrimage," he reasoned.
Khan claimed he has already talked to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in this regard.
The Maulana said that availability of liquor has been made so easy in the state that even minors could access it.
"I have seen minors having drinks at juice stalls. I have told the government that if liquor is banned in UP, both Hindus and Muslims would appreciate," he said.
Khan said the logic that ban on liquor would result in loss of revenue did not hold much ground.
"The revenue loss can be compensated by other means, but loss of religion cannot be compensated. For example liquor is banned in Gujarat, but there is no impact on revenue. When there is ban on liquor in birth place of Mahatma Gandhi, then why is it allowed in the land of Ram and Krishna," he said.
The Maulana said though sale of liquor could not be stopped completely, the move would certainly ensure that it was not available to the minors.
He said that in Islam, liquor has been termed as mother of all evils. He said henious crimes like murder, rape and dacoities could be checked if ban was imposed on liquor.
Khan said that the Council would launch a full fledged campaign after panchayat polls were over in the state.
"We are not launching the campaign right now as it may give it a political colour," he said.
On the issue of mass slaughter of bovine animals, he said beef was being exported at large scale from the country but like poultry there was no arrangement for breeding of the cattle.
"Every slaughter house is required to have a breeding farm, but it is not being followed, while cattle are being slaughtered in large number. If the situation remains so, then a day will come when our children will not get milk to drink," he said.
Earlier, a Muslim MLA of Samajwadi Party, Zameerullah Khan had launched 'Gaye Bachao Andolan' (Save the Cow campaign) motivating members of the community to take a vow not to slaughter cows or consume its meat.