Meat sellers ‘forced’ to down shutters in east Delhi ward for Navratri

Civic body has not issued any order to shut chicken or meat shops during Navratri, says MCD’s director for press and information Amit Kumar

March 30, 2023 12:16 am | Updated 01:22 pm IST - New Delhi

Meat shops in New Delhi (picture for representation).

Meat shops in New Delhi (picture for representation). | Photo Credit: MOORTHY RV

BJP councillor Ravinder Singh Negi has allegedly forced meat shops in east Delhi’s Vinod Nagar area to remain shut during the ongoing nine-day Hindu festival of Navratri. In a video that has gone viral on social media, Mr. Negi, accompanied by his personal security officer, can be seen making rounds of meat shops asking sellers to down their shutters even though there have been no official orders.

Speaking to The Hindu, the Vinod Nagar ward councillor said he visited the shops on Monday and made the request in view of Navratri, which is being celebrated from March 22-30 this year. “We didn’t force them to shut their shops, we just requested them to do so keeping in mind the religious beliefs and sentiments of devotees,” he said.

Last year, Mukesh Suryan, former Mayor of the erstwhile south Delhi civic body, had issued a similar ‘order’ asking meat shops to remain closed for nine days during Navratri.

MCD’s director for press and information Amit Kumar said the civic body has not issued any order to shut chicken or meat shops during Navratri.

Mr. Negi also claimed that most of the meat shops in the area have been running illegally for years despite several challans being issued in the recent past.

‘Own valid licences’

Vendors in the area, however, denied the allegation and said they have valid licences to run their businesses. A meat seller, who has been running his shop in the area for the past 12 years, said this was the first time such restrictions were imposed during Navratri. “Most meat sellers have complied with the orders and kept their shops closed fearing consequences,” he said.

A group of men, he added, have been visiting all shops in the area every day asking them to remain closed.

Another shop owner, who claimed to have suffered a loss of ₹15,000 in the past eight days, said he complied with the orders to maintain peace and brotherhood in the neighbourhood.

“We understand that the smell of meat is considered reprehensible by some people. So, we have been mostly keeping it inside our shops and out of public sight. However, the BJP leader and his men have asked us to keep our shutters down until after Navratri,” he said.

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