Gujarat town may soon go pure-veg

Palitana in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar district could soon become a “vegetarian only” zone, the first such in the state.

The town houses one of the most revered shrines of the Jains and has one of the largest statues of Lord Mahavir.  Earlier, the Jain monks of Palitana went on a hunger strike demanding authorities to declare the entire town of Palitana a vegetarian-only zone.

The monks called off their fast after the state government assured to look into their demands.

The problem is that Muslims comprise about 25 per cent of the population. Palitana has a population of around 50,000, out of which around 15,000 are Muslims.

Apart from the monks and the Jain Sadhvis, Minister of State for Cottage Industries, Salt and Cow Protection Tarachand Chheda, Rajya Sabha Member Mansukh Mandavia and Bhavnagar District Collector Pravin Solanki were present at the meeting to assure the religious heads about their intention.

The government has assured them that Palitana municipality will adopt a resolution declaring it a vegetarian town. “The district administration will forward the resolution to the state urban development department. The government will take a final call after looking into various aspects,” said Solanki.

He further said that the existing notification declaring Taleti area and 2.5 km-long road from Bhairavnath Chowk to Taleti a vegetarian zone would be enforced vigorously.

The monks are now hopeful that the decision would be implemented at the earliest and they hoped that the officials would declare slaughtering and sale of other non-vegetarian food items an “anti-social activity” in this area at the earliest.

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