Gurugram: Shiv Sena, VHP forcefully shut down 400 meat shops
Shiv Sena and the VHP claimed to have forcibly shut around 400 meat and chicken shops at different locations demanding that they remain shut during Navaratri
The Sanyunkt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti (SHSS) – an organisation of 22 Hindu groups, including the Shiv Sena and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad claimed to have forcibly shut around 400 meat and chicken shops at different locations in Gurugram on Wednesday, October 10, demanding that they remain closed during Navaratri.
Chief of Shiv Sena's Gurugram unit Gautam Saini said that around 300 members of different Hindu organisations assembled at the Lord Shiva temple located at the Old Railway road on Wednesday, October10, and headed to different places to close meat shops.
Locals claimed a group of Sena workers assembled at Palam Vihar on Wednesday, October 10, and forcibly shut down meat markets in Surat Nagar, Ashok Vihar, Sector 5 and 9, Pataudi Chowk, Jacobpura, Sadar Bazaar, Khandsa Anaj Mandi, Bus Stand, DLF area, Sohna and Sector 14.
They said 50% of the shops are already closed amid fears of clashes as such exercise is launched every year around Navratri since the BJP came to power in 2014 at the Centre and in Haryana.
“We have arrested four leaders of Hindu organisations during the march. An FIR has been registered against them under relevant sections of the IPC for disturbing peace. Further investigation is underway,” Gurugram police PRO Subhash Bokan said
State president of Hindu Sena Ritu Raj said, "The Hindu organisations will continue their effort throughout Navratri. The next target is new Gurugram where there are a large number of meat shops." Majority of the meat sellers used blinds to cover their shops. However, the Sena and other Hindu outfits have threatened to close them down too, sellers alleged.
"We have requested and served notices to every meat selling outlet to shut shop during Navaratri. This time we have not served notices to restaurants, like KFC and other chains, as them serving chicken cannot be seen in the open," Shiv Sena's Gurugram in-charge Sanjay Thakral said.
The party workers have also asked owners of non-vegetarian food outlets to shut shop during the nine-day festival.
"We have requested every meat shop owner to close their outlets. Sixty shops have been shut. If the rest 940 shops remain open, then we will have no option but to forcefully shut them down like we did in the previous couple of years," Thakral said.
There are nearly 1,000 meat and chicken shops in Gurugram.
A dispute emerged during the march by workers of Hindu outfits on Wednesday morning to close the shops and local police arrested some of the leaders.
Meanwhile, the police has asserted they will not let any meat shop be forcefully closed in the next one week.
"We have arrested four leaders of Hindu organisations during the march. An FIR has been registered against them under relevant sections of the IPC for disturbing peace. Further investigation is underway," Gurugram police PRO Subhash Bokan said.
Asked if the meat shops were forcibly shut, DCP (crime) Sumit Kuhar said, "We are looking into the matter. No one is authorised to take law in their hands. We will not let anyone forcibly close down meat shops during Navaratri. If anyone wants to voluntarily close his shop, then it is up to him. We have directed all city SHOs to keep a watch on the situation." He said aggrieved persons must file police complaints in this regard.
This incident comes after meat shops in Gurugram have reportedly been forced to close down two times last year – in March and September.
In March 2017, during Chaitra Navratri, around 300 meat shops were forcibly shut by protesters on both sides of the Delhi-Gurugram Expressway. They were opened following an assurance by the city police.
In September 2017, during Navratri, about 500 meat shops were forced to close by a group claiming to be members of Shiv Sena.
With PTI inputs