When mutton goes off market, people switch to camel meat, fish

Representational Photo

A week back, when Umair Mukhtar got to know that camel meat was being sold over 12 kms from his Pulwama home, he got into his vehicle to have the relish for him and his family. Like him, many Kashmiris are hunting for alternatives when the mutton crisis over rate issue is deepening.

Mukhtar said after waiting in the queue for over an hour he managed to buy only 700 grams of the camel meat.

For the past few weeks pictures of camel meat being sold at various places are making rounds on social media. These places usually include south Kashmir districts like Pulwana and some areas of Tral.

People are often seen trying to locate the selling point and check the rates in comment sections of the social media posts.

Earlier, only a few camels could be seen in Kashmir around the Eid-ul-Azha time as some people prefer them over other sacrificial animals.

With majority of people in Valley being non-vegetarian, there is currently a good business in the fish markets. Many also get beef.

“At Hazratbal Friday market, you will see people queuing for buffalo meat which is imported from other Indian states,” said Farooq Ahmed, a local.

Latief Ahmed, who runs Bismillah fish shop at Shalimar area said that there has been a 20 to 30 percent surge in the sales.

Kashmir has been going through mutton crisis since the government fixed the meat prices at Rs 480 per KG. However, the mutton dealers are reluctant to sell the meat at government fixed rate, reasoning that they are getting the supplies at much higher rates.

On Saturday, a meeting was headed by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir which was attended by officials of the FCS&CA and the sheep husbandry. The mutton wholesalers were also in the meeting, which was called to fix the prices.  The meeting however remained inconclusive.