Workers at a slaughterhouse that was shut down by authorities in Allahabad in Uttar PradeshAP:Associated Press

Thousands of meat sellers have gone on strike in Uttar Pradesh over a crackdown by the new chief minister, a firebrand Hindu cleric.

Yogi Adityanath, 44, the radical priest who will govern the key northern state for Narendra Modi’s ruling party, has launched a crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses, saying that they fuel an illicit trade in beef, which is considered sacred by Hindus.

The ban was a campaign pledge of Mr Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which swept to power in Uttar Pradesh state elections two weeks ago. Butchers and shopkeepers say that they have been targeted unfairly by police and that the initiative threatens thousands of jobs.

Mr Adityanath, who has previously urged his followers to kill Muslims and still faces criminal…