In Gurgaon, Hindu groups want meat shops shut for Navratri

The outfits also want authorities to ensure that Friday prayers by the Muslim community are only offered at designated sites.

With a few days to go for Navratri, the Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti, an association of over a dozen Hindu outfits, has written to the deputy commissioner (DC) requesting that all meat shops in Gurgaon be directed to close during the nine-day period. The group has also sought closure of all illegally-run meat shops in the city.

The letter states, “During the auspicious days of Navratri, lakhs of devotees visit Sheetla Mata temple in the city. Several meat shops that are operating illegally sell meat in the open. This hurts the sentiments of devotees and people who are fasting…”

In March 2021, the municipal corporation of Gurgaon, in a house meeting, had unanimously voted in favour of closing meat shops in the city every Tuesday. The councillors had argued in favour of closure on Tuesdays citing Hindu sentiments.

In the past, during Navratri, outfits under Samiti’s banner have taken to streets to ‘request’ shop owners to close their meat shops. In April 2019, a group of men, carrying batons, sticks and swords, had forced several meat shops in Dundahera to shut down, following which five members of an outfit, Hindu Sena, were arrested.

In the letter to DC, the group has also mentioned that Friday prayers by the Muslim community should only be offered at designated sites to ensure that public is not inconvenienced.

Rajeev Mittal, a spokesperson for Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti, said, “We have submitted a memorandum to the DC listing three demands. We have requested closure of all meat shops during Navratri and for a permanent closure of all illegal meat shops in the city. In the past few years, namaz has been offered in open spaces (parks, roads) on government land due to which the public faces inconvenience. We believe that Friday namaz should only be offered in a mosque, madrassa, Waqf board land or designated sites and proper permission should be taken for prayers in the open. Roads should not be blocked or occupied for this purpose. There have been some law and order issues in the past due to this issue and it could disrupt harmony.”

Recently the Friday prayers of Muslim community were disrupted in sector 47 by residents, who had cited traffic and security concerns. On October 1, the namaz was offered at the designated site in sector 47 amid heavy police deployment. A group of 20-25 residents had gathered at the site to voice their opposition and were turned away by the police.

Gurgaon DC Yash Garg could not be reached for comment

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