The Allahabad High Court today expressed dismay over the Uttar Pradesh government’s failure to give a satisfactory reply to a plea which alleged that authorities were not giving licences to set up slaughter houses in Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s constituency Gorakhpur.

A bench of Chief Justice D B Bhosle and Justice M K Gupta was hearing the petition filed by Dilshad Ahmad and several other Gorakhpur residents.

They alleged there is not a single licensed slaughter house in the district and those who wished to enter the meat business were not being given licences by the authorities.

When the state government’s counsel, led by Advocate General Raghavendra Singh, failed to give a satisfactory reply, the court remarked “we are governed by the rule of law and the court cannot shut its eyes on such an important issue.”

The court observed that in view of the “seriousness of the matter” it did not deem it proper to adjourn hearing on the petition for a long time and asked the advocate general to “assist the court in this matter” while fixing July 13 as the next date of hearing.

Uttar Pradesh has witnessed a massive crackdown on unlicensed slaughter houses since the spectacular victory of the BJP in the state assembly elections.

The party had, in its manifesto for the polls, promised to close down all unlicensed abattoirs and ban the mechanised ones.

The move has, however, reportedly led to thousands of people – mostly Muslims – in the business losing their source of livelihood.