The authorities in Naharlagun sub-division of Arunachal Pradesh have directed owners of eateries to remove the word “beef” from their signboards.

In an order issued on July 13, Tamo Dada, the executive magistrate of Naharlagun, said that the decision has been taken based on the “secular spirit” of the Constitution.

“Such open display of the word ‘beef’ on the signboards of such hotels and restaurants may hurt the sentiments of some sections of the community, and may create animosity between different groups,” Dada wrote.

The sub-division administration has asked all the restaurants and hotels within its limits to remove the signboards by July 18 “to continue the spirit of secularism and brotherhood”.

Credit: Special arrangement.

A fine of Rs 2,000 will be imposed on the eateries that do not abide by the directive and their trading licence will be cancelled, the sub-divisional magistrate said in his order. The order was issued under provisions of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Naharlagun falls under the district administration of the Itanagar Capital Complex and is located 13 kilometres away from the Arunachal Pradesh capital.

Panjang Aboh, a resident, told Northeast Now that the move was the first step towards imposing a ban on eating beef.

“If not opposed now, it will be difficult for the non-Hindu communities even to live...This needs to be opposed at any cost,” Aboh said.

Another local, Tasso Chobin Tada, told the website that the decision was kind of a trial to gauge the reaction of the residents.

“The next move would surely be a ban of beef in a phased manner,” he added.