Gurugram, April 6 (IANS) With the 9-day Chaitra Navratri festival starting on Saturday, Hindu organisations forcibly shut around 180 meat and chicken shops at different locations of Gurugram, demanding they remain closed during the festival.
Members of the Hindu Sena brandishing batons, hockey sticks, swords and iron rods were seen pulling down shutters of several meat and chicken outlets.
Ritu Raj, chief of the Hindu Sena’s Gurugram unit, said around 200 members of different Hindu outfits assembled at the Shiva temple on Old Railway Road in the morning and marched in different directions to shut meat shops.
“We have visited Sectors 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 21 and 22, Palam Vihar, Badshahpur, Om Vihar, Surat Nagar, Sadar Bazar, Anaj Mandi Dhanwapur, Dundahera, Molaheda, Sikandarpur and many other places and forced meat sellers to shut shops,” Ritu Raj said.
Around 50 per cent of shops were already closed fearing clashes, as meat shops were shut during every Navratri since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in the Centre and in Haryana, he added.
“The Hindu organisations will continue with their efforts throughout Navratri. The next target is New Gurugram, where there are a large number of meat shops. During the festival, majority of Hindus observe fast and functioning of meat shops could hurt their religious sentiments,” said Gautam Saini, President of Shiv Sena’s Gurugram unit.
Apart from the raw meat sellers, the organisation had also served notices to the non-vegetarian hotels and eateries, including food chains like KFC, to shut shops during Navratri, he added.
These organisations also submitted a memorandum to the Gurugram Deputy Commissioner, demanding closure of meat shops during Navratri.
When contacted, Sumer Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West Zone), said: “The police are aware of developments and are keeping a close watch. We have not received any complaint. The situation is peaceful here.”