SDMC Mayor calls for closure of meat shops during Navratri 

Religious sentiments of people observing Navratri are affected at the sight of meat shops

Updated - April 05, 2022 03:19 am IST

Published - April 04, 2022 10:25 pm IST - New Delhi 

A meat shop in Nizamuddin, Delhi. File photo

A meat shop in Nizamuddin, Delhi. File photo | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) Mayor Mukesh Suryan on Monday wrote to the civic body’s commissioner, requesting the closure of meat shops in areas under the SDMC’s jurisdiction during the nine-day period of the Navratri.

“During this period, people forgo even use of onions and garlic in their diet and the sight of meat being sold in open or near temples make them uncomfortable. Their religious belief and sentiments are also affected when they come across meat shops or when they have to bear with the foul smell of meat on their way to offer daily prayers,” Mr. Suryan said in the letter.

“Moreover, some meat shops dump waste in gutters or beside the road, which the stray dogs feed on. It is not only unhygienic but also an appalling sight for passersby,” the letter added.

The Mayor further said closing of meat shops near temples is also necessary.

When reached out for a comment, Mr. Suryan did not respond. However, SDMC Standing Committee Chairman BK Oberoi told The Hindu, “There has been no such proposal in the Standing Committee to close such meat shops in totality. He [Mayor] must have proposed this move on his own.”

V.K. Singh, director of the civic body’s veterinary department, said that he was unaware of the Mayor’s letter and added, “The meat shops are shut during Navratri anyway.” 

Residents react

The Mayor’s letter has brought about confusion and fear to some residents of south Delhi, with most stating that they were unable to see the “logic behind the move”.

A resident of Jangpura, who wished to remain unnamed, questioned the basis for the call to shut meat shops. The person added, “Is there a law that enables one to call for this closure? Such statements have larger political inferences. I would have liked a feedback mechanism adopted by them, you can’t expect an elected Mayor to take such unilateral decisions.” 

Farhana, a south Delhi resident, said, “Something as basic as an individual’s eating habit should be his/her own choice and not be commanded by any rules or law propagated by the government. Moreover, a law made keeping in view the sentiments of one particular community of the society gives a cloudy message to the public.”

A former south Delhi resident who wished to remain anonymous said, “I left Delhi this year because of such developments; it makes me feel afraid. Previously, there have been riots and protests in the city.Let them do what they want, I won’t resist.”

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