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India Cancels Export of Live Sheep, Goats to UAE Amid Protests

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Sheep - Sputnik International
The first consignment of 2,000 sheep and goats was scheduled to leave for the UAE from Nagpur Airport on Saturday afternoon. The export project was aimed at providing new avenues of income and employment for farmers. However, the Jain religious community has launched a massive protest against the project.

New Delhi (Sputnik): Amid rising protests by India's Jain religious community, which advocates non-violence and vegetarianism, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has decided to cancel the planned export of sheep and goats to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  

"The ministry wanted to have an amicable solution. We will talk to the protesters and then we will decide the future course of action," a government official told Sputnik.

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The Jain community has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court against the project. Member of Parliament Vikas Mahatme, who spearheaded the project, has said he will discuss the issue with the protesters who belong to the Jain community.

"Taking note of their protest, the ministry officials asked us to first hold talks with the Jain community before going ahead with the project," Mahatme told PTI.

Earlier on Friday, members of the Sakal Jain Samaj who are against the project had staged a massive protest march to Nagpur, home to the headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh — the parent organization of the ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

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"We are strongly against this project. Once it starts, it will not remain restricted to Nagpur alone, but will spread to other parts of the country," Richa Jain, president of the Digamber Jain Mahasabha Samiti (Maharashtra), said.

India exports mainly water buffalo meat to the UAE and other Gulf countries. During the last financial year exports fell marginally lower than the previous financial year. Exporters felt the pinch due to the strict norms set out by the Narendra Modi government for slaughterhouses.

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