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Citing ‘religious sentiment’, Vadodara removes non-veg from public display

Vadodara, the third largest city in Gujarat, plans to penalise street hawkers who sell non-vegetarian food “openly”, according to reports. 

Civic officials in the city have been asked to ensure that food stalls do not “visibly” sell non-vegetarian food; hawkers must ensure that the food is suitably “covered”. The direction will also apply to those selling egg items.

Vadodara’s reported move comes close after the mayor of another city in Gujarat, Rajkot, passed instructions that stalls selling non-veg items be limited to designated zones.

The instructions in Vadodara were reportedly passed verbally by standing committee chairman of the municipal corporation, Hitendra Patel, who told the executive wing to remove from “public display” all non-vegetarian food being sold on street stalls and restaurants in the city within 15 days as it is a matter of “religious sentiments”.

Local reports indicate that there’s some confusion about how Patel’s instructions are to be implemented. 

“I instructed that all food stalls, especially those selling non-vegetarian food such as fish, meat and eggs, should ensure that the food is well covered for hygiene reasons. They should also be removed from main roads where they could cause traffic snarls,” Patel said.

“They need to ensure that no non-vegetarian food is visible to anyone passing by. It has to do with our religious sentiments. It may have been the practice for years to sell non-vegetarian food on full display, but the time has come to correct it,” he added.

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