The civic body of Gurugram is likely to issue an order today closing meat shops for Navratri

The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) is expected to issue an order on Saturday ordering owners of meat shops to close their shops for nine days, from September 26 to October 5, due to the Hindu holiday of Navratri, body officials civics aware of the case said Friday.

Even though most of the city’s 129 licensed meat shops voluntarily close their doors during the festival – mainly due to security concerns, with some right-wing groups having forcibly closed shops in the past – this will be the first time the MCG issues an official order ordering the closure.

According to MCG co-commissioner Vijaypal Yadav, who oversees all meat-related matters, 35 teams will be formed to keep an eye on meat shops during the nine-day period and those who violate the order will be sentenced to a fine. 5,000.

“The MCG will probably issue the order tomorrow (Saturday) ordering owners of meat shops across the city to close their shops during Navratri. Those who violate the order will be fined, and repeated violation may also result in the MCG sealing their establishment. Neighborhood teams have been formed for this purpose,” Yadav said, adding that most meat shop owners close their shops during the festival anyway, and the order is issued to ensure 100% compliance.

Yadav clarified that meat shop owners can, however, sell frozen or packaged meat during this time.

MCG officials familiar with the matter said the civic body was originally expected to issue the order on Friday. But after the district administration ordered all government and private sector employees to work from home on Friday, due to traffic jams and gridlock caused by the continuous rain, they decided to issue the order. Saturday.

Meat shop owners said they would close their stores, as has been their practice for the past few years.

“We have also closed shops during Navratri in the past as MCG officials had unofficially asked us to do so citing religious sentiments. We will also keep our stores closed during this time this year whether MCG issues a directive or not,” said Sabir Qureshi, a meat vendor at Sadar Bazar.

Another meat shop owner said he chose to close the shutters for security reasons. “Over the past five years, right-wing groups have shut down my shop at least twice. Out of fear, I keep my stores closed during these festivals,” said a shopkeeper in Sector 49, on condition of anonymity.

Right-wing groups began forcibly closing butcher shops in the city in March 2017, during the spring Navratri festival. That year, more than 300 establishments, including an American fast food joint, were forcibly closed by right-wing groups.

Another meat shop owner said that since the MCG reserves the right to close meat shops, they have no choice but to comply.

“During Navratri, I usually put a curtain in front of my shop – out of respect for Hindus – and sell to customers. The business for the nine days was only a fraction of what it was a normal day, but it was enough to cover my running costs. This time, however, I will have to close shop as the MCG will most likely order us to do so,” said a butcher shop owner near Dwarka Expressway, asking not to be named.

The sale of meat has become a contentious issue in Haryana, and Gurugram in particular, since the state began to control food choices, citing religious sentiments.

In July, Haryana’s urban local bodies ordered the closure of all meat shops and slaughterhouses in the state for nine days, from August 24 to September 1, for the Jain festival of Paryushan Parv. After the owners of a poultry farm based in Ambala approached the high court of Punjab and Haryana against this instruction, the high court issued a reprieve and the meat shops were closed for only two days , instead of nine.

Last year in March, the MCG also approved a proposal to close meat shops on Tuesdays – Hindus normally refrain from eating meat on this day – and the order is currently in effect in the town.


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Kartik Kumar is a correspondent for the Hindustan Times and has covered topics including crime, transport, health and consumer courts. Kartik currently covers Municipal Corporation, Delhi Metro and Rapid Metro.
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