Hindu group in Gurugram ‘backs down’ on demand to shut meat shops during Navratri after arrest of 6 members
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Hindu group in Gurugram ‘backs down’ on demand to shut meat shops during Navratri after arrest of 6 members

The Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti (SHSS) Gurugram had threatened meat shop owners to remain closed during Navratri till October 18 but appeared to back down from their demand after six of their members were arrested and later released on bail by the district administration.

gurgaon Updated: Oct 12, 2018 12:42 IST
Nikhil M Babu
Nikhil M Babu
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
gururgram,meat shops in gurugram,navratri
Around 14 meat shops at a market near Jama Masjid in Sadar Bazar, Gurugram, remained closed on October 10, 2018, morning after threats from a grouping of Hindu outfits to forcefully close down meat shops opened during Navratri. (Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)

Hours after six of their members were arrested and district administration warned of stern action, an umbrella body of 22 right-wing Hindu groups said on Thursday that they would not get any meat shops closed in Gurugram. The six were later released on bail by a city court.

“To people going and closing shops (meat) in markets, I will make it clear -- it is 100% illegal. If anyone is found doing it, even if they are requesting the shop owners to close, strict action will be taken against them,” deputy commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh told media on Thursday evening.

The Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti (SHSS) Gurugram, of which the Shiv Sena, the VHP, the Hindu Sena and others are a part, has been threatening meat shop owners to remain closed during Navratri till October 18.

On Wednesday morning, during a protest rally organised by the SHSS, many meat shops along the way were closed forcefully and an FIR was filed for allegedly beating up a worker of a meat shop in Sector 14.

Four workers of SHSS were taken in preventive custody after the rally and they were later released on bail on Wednesday evening.

“But after analysing the footage of the rally, we arrested one more person on Wednesday night and based on his statement, five others were arrested,” said Sumit Kuhar, deputy commissioner of police (crime).

The DC said that police have increased security in different areas and people who were involved in the violence on Wednesday would be arrested.

The SHSS had said in a written statement on Tuesday that they had decided to close the meat shops themselves, after the district administration failed to act on their request.

In a letter submitted to deputy commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh on Tuesday demanding the closure of such shops, the Gurugram unit of the Shiv Sena had stated, “...else Shiv Sena would forcefully close them (meat shops) and the shopkeeper would be responsible for his loss...”

On Thursday, talking about illegal meat shops, the DC said, “I have talked to the MCG commissioner and the MCG will be closing illegal shops following the due procedure.”

The SHSS said that since the DC has promised to close illegal meat shops, they would not close shops any more.

“If any illegal meat shop is found, we will inform the DC or the police,” Rajeev Mittal, a core member of SHSS, said.

Dhabas say business hit

Along the route in which the SHSS rally passed on Wednesday, at least five meat shops remained shut on Thursday. At least six dhabas along the route used to earlier sell non-vegetarian food but have started selling vegetarian food and put up banners which say “pure vegetarian”.

Three of these dhaba owners said their dhabas were forcefully closed during the rally, despite selling vegetarian food on Wednesday and one of them alleged that his employee was beaten up.

The owners said that their business has been hit due to selling vegetarian food. “Business has fallen by 75%. People used to come to my shop to eat chicken biryani, but hardly anyone came today,” Mohammad Nazil, 30, from Uttar Pradesh said. Nazil said that his 10-member family is dependent on him. Noushad Malik, 23, who runs a dhaba near CRPF Camp Chowk said, “What will we do if 20-25 people come ask us to shut the shop?”

Many dhabha owners said that people have started opposing selling meat only in the last two to three years. “I have been running this dhaba for the past 17 years, but problems started only after BJP came to power,” Mohammad Khaleel, 51, said.

Surajpal Amu, BJP Haryana spokesperson, said, “No one should take law into their hands. But people who are protesting against selling meat during Navratri have the right to do so. People of other faith should respect Hindu sentiments and not sell meat during Navratri.” 

First Published: Oct 12, 2018 12:42 IST