In a significant move, the Uttar Pradesh government has imposed a ban on halal-certified food, citing concerns over a purported “forged halal certificate” controversy. The decision comes after police in Lucknow registered a case against several entities, including Halal India Private Limited Chennai, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Halal Trust Delhi, Halal Council of India Mumbai, and Jamiat Ulama Maharashtra.
The case, registered at the Hazratganj police station, alleges that the companies exploited religious sentiments to boost sales by providing forged halal certificates. Charges include criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity between different groups, uttering words with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings, extortion, cheating, forgery of valuable security, and statements conducing to public mischief, among others.
The Uttar Pradesh government, in a statement, expressed concern that these companies issued forged halal certificates to various businesses, not only fostering social animosity but also violating public trust. The complaint suggests a potential large-scale conspiracy aimed at decreasing the sales of products lacking the halal certificate, potentially benefitting anti-social and anti-national elements.
Of particular concern is the issuance of halal certificates for vegetarian products like oil, soap, toothpaste, and honey, where no such certification is necessary. This has led authorities to suspect a deliberate criminal conspiracy targeting a specific community and its products.
The complainant, Shailendra Kumar Sharma, raised alarm over the unrestrained propagation of anti-products without halal certification within a particular section of society. This, he argued, harms the business interests of other communities and could result in disproportionate profits being channeled towards supporting terrorist organizations and anti-national endeavors.
The Uttar Pradesh government is taking a firm stance against what appears to be an exploitation of religious sentiments for financial gains, emphasizing the need for fair business practices and communal harmony. As the investigation unfolds, the ban on halal-certified food remains in place, prompting a broader discussion on the intersection of religion, commerce, and public trust.