As Navratri begins, Ghaziabad shuts meat shops, shopkeepers question move
Several shop owners said on Saturday that they would “incur a huge loss” after Ghaziabad mayor Asha Sharma issued an order barring the sale of raw meat in the open during the nine days of the Hindu festival.
The move of Ghaziabad authorities to keep meat shops shut while allowing liquor outlets to remain open during the ongoing Navratri has raised a few eyebrows among local traders.
Several shop owners said on Saturday that they would “incur a huge loss” after Ghaziabad mayor Asha Sharma issued an order barring the sale of raw meat in the open during the nine days of the Hindu festival. Traders said such an order was issued for the first time in the Uttar Pradesh town.
“This is for the first time that meat shops are shut during Navratri in Ghaziabad. Our source of income has stopped. We'll incur losses to the tune of thousands. We have meat products worth lakhs kept in our shops,” a shopkeeper was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The Ghaziabad nagar nigam office issued an order on Saturday stating that all meat shops in the city will remain closed from April 2 to 10 in view of Navratri festival.
Meat shop owners further wondered how the liquor shops were allowed to operate normally during the festival while a closure order was issued for their stores. “Liquor shops are open and meat shops are asked to shut,” one of them said.
Sharma said that this norm is followed every year and that meat and liquor shops ‘cannot be equated’. “Meat and liquor are different, they cannot be equated with each other. It is related to religious sentiments. It happens everytime that during Navratri raw meat can't be sold in the vicinity of the temple,” she said.
The district magistrate said licenced meat shops can run their business in covered kiosks during the nine-day festival. “Shop owners can cover the meat which they are selling. We are not here to help anyone incur profit or loss," Sharma said.
District magistrate RK Singh, "Only licenced meat shops will be allowed to open their shops in covered kiosks following cleanliness norms. No shop owner will be allowed to throw animal carcasses in open areas."
He said the health department of the municipal corporation will ensure sanitation near the meat shops during Navratri. The Chaitra Navratri began on Saturday and will continue till April 10.
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