Standing slightly apart from the crowd, one supplier speaks in whispers to the owner of a hefty-looking buffalo. He puts a one-rupee piece into the other man's palm as a token of good faith.
"I bought 70 heavyweight buffalo," says Mohammad Sheikh, one trader. "I hope I have estimated the weight correctly or I'll make a big loss," he says, replacing his wallet in the pocket of his brown wool waistcoat.
Qureshi outlines plans for his own slaughter house as he offers snacks in the salon of his eye-catchingly colourful house outside Aligarh. The dates are as plump as the velvet cushions and the cashews are perfect crescents.
"This business is profitable," he says.
Is China buying?
A dull thud announces the arrival of another black carcass on the conveyor belt and, 30 seconds later, a buffalo hangs from an overhead hook through its foreleg, swaying gently as it waits in line to be stripped to white, slippery flesh.
(Read more: FDA purposes tough new safety rules for pet food)
The abbatoir's conveyor belt moves slowly, taking the body past a succession of men who each remove some part of the animal. Skin, hooves, ears, head; every bit is stripped from about 1,500 buffalo a day.
Hind Agro sells most of its meat to the Middle East and Southeast Asia, but the government says India's biggest beef buyers are Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Egypt.
China, where beef consumption is growing rapidly, could soon be on the official customer list after the two countries signed a framework deal earlier this year.
China may already be buying huge amounts of Indian beef via Vietnam, according to industry experts who would speak only on condition of anonymity. According to Vietnam's customs data, the country imports no buffalo meat from India.
Global demand for exports of buffalo - leaner and cheaper than cow meat - is growing at around 30 percent a year. The lack of growth hormones in Indian beef provides an additional attraction for health-conscious consumers, said M. Kalim Khan, vice-president of exports and marketing at Hind Agro.
India might not be able to increase supplies quickly enough to meet that demand given the lack of dedicated buffalo farms or rearing facilities. Analysts at Credit Suisse say about 10.5 million animals are likely to be slaughtered in India in the financial year 2013/14, but add that there's a limit.
(Read More: Casual meets classy? London dishes up hot dogs…with champagne)
"It is hard to see this number rising much higher, as ... of the 105 million buffaloes in 2007, only 20 million were males, and less than 2 million were females beyond reproductive age," they said in a research note.
High stakes and hijacks
The rapid expansion of the sector, rising prices and demand have encouraged cattle smuggling, animal activists and officials say.
"Abandoned animals are picked up from the streets for slaughter. No one is bothered because everyone, including the police, get their share from the agents," says Arvind Shah, a founder of Karuna, a charity for animal welfare in the city of Mumbai.
Shah, whose tall and thin physique has made him a well-known figure among residents near his tiny office, describes violent clashes between truck drivers and animal rights activists.
"Stopping trucks on highways in the middle of the night is a very risky business. I was chased by masked men and threatened," the 49-year-old activist says.
Activists get tip-offs from villagers and even rival suppliers about the route and timing of vehicles carrying meat or animals, and then they work out a strategy to stop them.
"We go in a group of 30 to 40 people and carry wooden sticks. Most of the time, we succeed in stopping the trucks and releasing the animals," says Brijesh Shah, a 34-year-old member of Jiv Rakshak Dal, which literally means animal protection group. "Sometimes ... they attack us with iron rods and other sharp weapons."
(Read more: Why India's state elections matter)
The group has stopped 120 trucks since 2002 and saved around 8,000 animals, he says.
Truck drivers, for their part, have stories of beatings and robberies.
"We are fed up of paying bribes to policemen and getting beaten up by animal rights people and political party members," said Mohammad Gulfam, a driver at the Gulaothi market.
While government regulations on the transport of animals are strict, implementation is often weak and cattle are squeezed into trucks to cut costs. Animals often make the journey to the slaughter house without food or water and are sometimes left in the baking heat while drivers take their breaks.
Even beef producer Qureshi admits the rules are flouted. The law allows transport of only seven animals in a 22-foot-long vehicle. Suppliers load around 14 animals to save the transportation charges, he said. Most have their own trucks to transport animals.
And there are dangers for beef traders even when they are operating legally.
"On my way to make a delivery at Hind Agro, our truck was stopped by about 15 people belonging to some political party," said Mohammad Yusaf, a driver waiting to load up at Gulaothi market. "They beat me and my co-worker and robbed us of 25,000 rupees," he added.
(Read more: 'Universal' frustration with pace of India reforms: Hero CEO)
While Modi's heartland of Gujarat is not on any of the main routes to ports, Qureshi no longer lets his trucks travel there even if it's a shortcut for some deliveries.
"It's the most troubled route. We face a lot of problems in Gujarat ... The chief minister himself is against this trade," he said.
Gujarat's BJP government says the state bans the slaughter of cows and transportation of beef but that buffalo meat is not banned. However, a Home Department official said local "cow protection committees" stop vehicles ferrying meat and pressure police to act. "They take legal action if the vehicles are found to be ferrying beef, but many times even genuine firms have to suffer," the official said.
After the outbreak of violence outside New Delhi, Muslim elders and clerics decided that preserving the peace was far more important than eating beef.
Anyone killing cows, including the ones left to stray, will now be fined 115,000 rupees, they announced. Since then, tensions have eased in the area, where Hindus and Muslims live side-by-side and chat in each other's front yards.
"This wasn't such a problem before, but some people are trying to create trouble between the communities," said Mohammad Shaikh, a young cleric at a local mosque. "We have told our people not to do anything provocative at this time."