There will be non-veg food in Gurgaon this Navratri as meat shops reopen under police protection
Meat shops across Gurgaon have reopened after two days on Thursday, following assurances of security from the police. More than 300 shops had stayed shut on both sides of NH-24 after protestors forced them to pull down the shutters for Hindu festival of Navratri, during which followers eat vegetarian food.
On Thursday morning, the shops started to get back in business in Sadar Bazar and Jacobpura – which are major meat-selling hubs – and in other parts of the city. A number of shops in the city sell buffalo meat, which is the main bone of contention. A KFC outlet in Sector 14 was also forcibly shut down by protestors claiming to be from the Shiv Sena. It reopened on Wednesday afternoon under police protection.
“We have lodged a complaint with the police. There was fear in the area among meat sellers,” Mohammad Tahir, president of the Jama Masjid market committee in Sadar Bazar, told Hindustan Times. “Police have told us to immediately call them if anyone troubles or attacks us again. So, we have now opened the shops,” he said.
Police are patrolling the area and keeping a close watch on possible protests. “We have received the complaint from the meat sellers. We are looking at further action. We have told them we will provide security,” Vikram Nehra, SHO of the City Police Station, said.
Sandeep Khirwar, Gurgaon police commissioner, had said on Wednesday that the police had strict instructions to avert any such forcible closure.
The protest groups had targeted shops in Sadar Bazar, sectors 7, 9, 14, and Palam Vihar near the old Gurgaon road on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, they turned on the shops on the other side of the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway in DLF, Sushant Lok, Sohna Road and Badshahpur areas.
All this comes amid a strike by meat traders in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh as shop owners in India’s largest meat-producing state say they are being harassed by state officials. This strike is in response to a drive by the BJP government to close down all illegal slaughterhouses in the state. Many meat shops in the state were also set on fire over the past week.