Meat shops in Faridabad alleged that they were forced to close by right-wing groups last week in light of Navratri. Police said they had not received any complaint, while the Faridabad district administration said no closure order had been issued. After the intervention of the police, the shops are now open.
On 7 October, a group of men claiming to be from the Bajrang Dal allegedly forced the owners of a meat shop in Sector 23’s Sanjay Colony to shut down claiming that they had permission from the police and the district administration. has been found.
Mohammad Hashim, who runs a meat shop in the colony, alleged: “A group of 8-10 people threatened that if we don’t close the shop, they will close it forcibly… we didn’t want trouble so we Pulled down. Shutter later officials from nearby station came to inquire and assured us of security. We didn’t register complaint and opened shop. Police said there was no order to close the shops.
SHO of Mujesar police station Sandeep Kumar said, “I have seen the video of the incident. We spoke to the concerned shopkeeper and he has not lodged any complaint. We are yet to identify the group of men.”
On 6 October, a group of Hindu organizations, including the Bajrang Dal, submitted a letter to the Faridabad Deputy Commissioner, requesting that all meat shops be closed during Navratri. Faridabad DC Jitendra Yadav said, ‘No order or permission has been issued by the administration regarding the closure of meat shops. A similar incident had come to light a few days ago in Palwal under Kithwari police station area.
Vikram Singh, who claims to be the district vice-president of Rashtriya Bajrang Dal, Palwal, claimed: “We received some reports that some meat shops were open. Many illegal meat shops remain open during Navratri and they throw the meat on the streets, which is insulting. So we went to the area and ensured that the shops remained closed.”
Singh also claimed that the police was with him. However, the police denied this. A police officer, requesting anonymity, said, “We received information that a group of over 7 people had gathered and were asking a shopkeeper to close his meat shop. The team went to the spot and pacified the matter. The shopkeeper was asked to close his shop at that time to avoid law and order problem. The situation was peaceful.”
In Noida too, the queues of meat shops in Harola are closed since Navratri started.
The owners alleged that the local police had suggested the shops to be closed in view of the festivities. Says Mohammad Ashraf, “We are suffering a lot… but we don’t want trouble.
Noida Police has denied this. “It is untrue that instructions have been issued to close the shops. We are ensuring peace in the region. Senior officials have been asked to investigate whether some organizations are trying to shut down meat shops. An inspection was conducted and no such incident took place,” said Rajesh S., DCP, Gautam Buddh Nagar.
(Inputs from Amil Bhatnagar)