The action by authorities in Uttar Pradesh on illegal slaughterhouses seemed to have claimed its first big casualty when it was reported on Thursday, March 23, that the iconic Tunday Kababi restaurant at Chowk in Lucknow -- the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, had shut down for good.
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Fears have been expressed of bans on beef and slaughterhouses in UP ever since the BJP came to power. Those fears were only strengthened when the saffron party chose Yogi Adityanath -- a Hindu religious leader known for his activism on cow protection, among other things -- as chief minister of UP.
And those fears seemed to be coming true when Adityanath ordered the closure of illegal abattoires and slaughterhouses all over the state. UP looked all set to follow in the footsteps of two other BJP-ruled states -- Maharashtra and Haryana -- that had banned beef.
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It was under these circumstances that news came of Tunday Kababi -- the doyen of Awadhi cuisine named after its one-armed founder Haji Murad Ali -- had shut shop. Indeed, visuals of the famous Tunday Kababi shop at Chowk in Lucknow seemed to support this news.
However, that is not the case. International Business Times, India, got in touch with people working for the shop, who said that the eatery had shut for a day only, and although there was shortage of meat that had led to downsizing of their menu, the Tunday Kababi shop was very much open for business.
Abu Bakar told IBTimes India: "We are now carrying only chicken kababs, in the absence of mutton and buffalo meat. Of course we are facing problems, but we have not closed down."
However, there was no news of when the other kababs would return on the menu, and Abu Bakar had no idea either. "Our business has dropped to 10 percent of normal, and we do not know when it will pick up again. However, one thing is for certain: We have not shut down: We are very much open."