Sikhs Protest Against Meat Plant Next to Gurudwara Sahib


LONDON: Nearly two weeks after city councillors in Bradford approved a meat plant close to a gurdwara, leaders of the Sikh community are planning to invite leaders of other faiths to strengthen its fight against the move.

Members of the Sikh community are trying to get the backing of other faiths in their fight against the Bradford Area Planning Panel’s decision to allow a meat factory next to the Guru Gobind Singh gurdwara in the city, one of the largest gurdwaras in northern England, the Telegraph & Argus of Bradford reported.

They also expressed apprehensions that this precedent could affect other places of worship in future.

According to the report, the Board of Representatives of Bradford gurdwaras will also take legal advice on appealing against the decision.

The board questioned whether permission would be granted for a pork processing plant near a mosque or a synagogue, a beef plant next to a Hindu temple, or a lap-dancing club in front of a church.

“We have found the council’s decision insensitive and very disappointing,” Nirmal Singh, chairman of the board was quoted as saying.

“The board will seek further legal advice against the decision and we urge the owners of Pakeezah to withdraw their application in recognition that their proposal is most disrespectful to the gurdwara and thereby hurtful to Sikhs everywhere.”

The city panel had Aug 13 approved the construction of the meat plant of Pakeezah, a leading meat retailer of the city, at a disused car workshop close to the gurdwara.

Meanwhile, Pakeezah director Tariq Haq said work on the plant was going on.

“The fact is that we’re only moving a few yards from where our plant is already exist, it’s an existing business”, Haq was quoted as saying.

“They are not going to see what’s happening and it’s not going to affect the temple in any way, shape or form.”

Prior to the panel’s approval for the meat plant, local Sikhs had voiced fierce opposition to the plan saying that meat odour would waft into the religious building.

“Many of our people are strict vegetarians and the meat processing unit being so near to the temple is disrespectful and insensitive,” Kuldip Bharj, secretary of the Board of Bradford gurdwaras, had said.

“A butchery plant should be on an industrial estate rather than next to a place of worship and community centre where people will be exposed to the disgraceful smell and noise,” the gurdwara’s president Kuldeep Duley had been cited as writing in a letter to local planning officer Mohammed Yousef.

Source: TOI

A faith group has vowed to keep up its fight against a meat plant being created next to a prominent Sikh temple.

Two weeks ago, Bradford councillors gave food firm Pakeezah permission to convert a car workshop in Percival Street into a wholesale meat plant, as an expansion of its existing business in the area.

The site is near the Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara building, which fronts on to Leeds Road, and hundreds of Sikhs – many of whom are strict vegetarians – had objected to the plan.

meat protest1

Now Bradford’s most senior Sikhs are planning to invite leaders of other faiths to a specially-convened meeting to discuss the issue.

They hope to get the other faiths to back them in their fight to get the decision overturned and to talk about whether a precedent has been set which could affect other places of worship in future.

The decision to organise the inter-faith conference was taken at a meeting of Bradford’s most senior Sikhs.

The Board of Representatives of Bradford Gurdwaras, which met on Saturday, suggested a precedent had been set which could have implications on other faiths.

It said it raised questions about whether planning permission could be granted for a pork processing plant next to a mosque or a synagogue, a beef processing plant next to a Hindu temple, or a lap-dancing club next to a church.

Invitations to the meeting are currently being sent to prominent faith leaders and organisations, including the Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Rev Nick Baines, and the Bradford Council for Mosques.

The board has also decided to support the Gurdwara as it takes legal advice on appealing against the decision.

Nirmal Singh, chairman of the board, said they had found the Council’s decision “insensitive and very disappointing”.

He said: “The board supports Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara to seek further legal advice against the decision and we urge the owners of Pakeezah to withdraw their application in recognition that their proposal is most disrespectful to the Gurdwara and thereby hurtful to Sikhs everywhere.”

Pakeezah director Tariq Haq said work had started on the meat plant.

He said: “They just need to understand the fact that we’re only moving a few yards from where we are, it’s an existing business.

“They are not going to see what’s happening and it’s not going to affect the temple in any way, shape or form.”

Originally Posted By: Asian Image

Sign the Petition opposing the Meat Plant Here: Petition

Share this post