Features Sunday, October 12, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | October 12, 2014 | 11:43 am IST  Palitana town in Gujarat, a major pilgrimage centre for Jains, is said to have become the world’s first vegetarian city.  The Gujarat government on August 14, declared Palitana a meat-free zone by banning the sale of meat, fish and eggs along with prohibiting animal slaughter within the town’s limits, reports Worldcrunch.  The decision is said to have been taken following a hunger strike by 200 Jain monks in Palitana demanding the creation of a vegetarian zone in the town.  The report quotes Sadhar Sagar, a Jain believer, as saying, "Meat has always been easily available in this city, but it's against the teaching of our religion," "We always wanted a complete ban on non-vegetarian food in this holy site." However, the ban has not been welcomed by all in the town, including those involved in the meat, fish and egg business who feel that the step taken by authorities was a ‘one sided decision’, and asserted that the ‘government should not make decisions under pressure’. A significant part of Palitana’s population also comprises of non-vegetarians, some of whom feel that the ban , is a ‘violation of their rights’ The issue has now been taken to the Gujarat High Court, which in turn has asked the state government to explain on what basis it took and implemented the decision in Palitana. Based on the government’s reply, the court will then decide whether the ban is a legal one or not.

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