2 members of Hindu Sena held for shutting down meat shops during Navratri
A day after at least 30 men, carrying batons, sticks and swords had allegedly forced the closure of meat shops in Dundahera near the Delhi-Gurugram border, the police on Sunday arrested two members of a Hindu right-wing group for allegedly threatening owners to close their shops during Navratri.
An FIR was registered based on a video, shared multiple times on social media, in which members affiliated to a right-wing group could be seen pulling down shutters and demanding closure of meat shops in Dundahera near Udyog Vihar.
Birem Singh, assistant commissioner of police (ACP), Udyog Vihar, said the police had arrested two men, who claimed to be members of Hindu Sena, from Dundahera and raids were on to round up other suspects.
“In the complaint, six people have been named and at least 25 others are unidentified. We are trying to identify people from the video. Police are probing if the said meat shops had obtained licences. However, people cannot take the law into their hands and force the closure of shops by brandishing weapons,” said ACP Singh, adding that a police control van had been stationed in the village.
A case was registered against the accused men under sections 148 , 149, and 506 of the IPC and section 25/54/59 of The Arms Act at Udyog Vihar police station on Sunday, the police said.
Around 11pm on Saturday, members of several right-wing outfits in the city had assembled near the Old Railway station and claimed to have shut at least 100 meat shops in sectors 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 21, 22, Palam Vihar, Palam Vihar, Badshahpur, Om Vihar, Surat Nagar, Sadar Bazar, Anaj Mandi Dhanwapur, Dundahera, Molaheda and Sikandarpur.
Ritu Raj, state president of Hindu Sena, said that the arrested persons, Rajesh alias Chika, and Pramod were associated with Hindu Sena for the last six months. “There is no complainant in the case. Police have merely taken cognisance of the video and lodged a case. If they have launched a probe against us, they should also prosecute health department officials and municipal corporation officials who have not taken action against the illegal meat shops in the city.”
On Sunday, meat shops in Dundahera remained closed and the shop owners said that they are planning to return to their native villages in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar for the next eight days. “The same thing had taken place last year during Navratri and we were forced to close the shop,” said Rehman, who owns a dhaba.
Police said the suspects are Dundahera residents and are involved in real estate business.
Members of Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti, which had demanded the closure of illegal meat shops on Sunday distanced themselves from the case. “Our group is not associated and has no links to the suspects,” said Mahavir, a senior functionary.