Hindus comprise 80% of India’s 1.2bn population. Now, the western state of Maharashtra this week became the first Indian state to ban the possession and sale of beef, imposing fines up to 10000 rupees and up to five years in prison for violations. The state includes India’s commercial capital and biggest city Mumbai. The slaughter of water buffaloes, which are not considered sacred at all. will still be allowed under the new law. The traders claim that the decision will affect almost 70 per cent of their business. Opposition to the law occurred. ” It will render many of us jobless while prices of other meat will go up and it will also affect rural economy. The farmers, already under debt, will have to maintain useless cattle on expensive fodder. The poor will not be able to afford high-priced mutton” said to the media Mumbai Suburban Beef Traders’ Association president Mohammad Ali Qureshi.