A group of people claiming to be Shiv Sena workers allegedly shut down more than 500 meat shops in Gurugram in Haryana on Thursday for all nine days of the Navratri festival, PTI reported.
“We have served notices to every meat and chicken shop,” Ritu Raj, who claimed to be the district spokesperson of the Sena, told PTI. “We have not served notices to restaurants such as KFC and other food chains that serve chicken as they are not seen openly. One will have to face consequences in case the instructions are not followed.”
In March, the group had tried to forcibly bring the shutters down at meat shops and other food chains, including KFC, during Navratri. At the time, the Shiv Sena had distanced itself from the incident. “There’s no spokesperson by this name [Ritu Raj] in the Shiv Sena,” Harshal Pradhan, media advisor to Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, had then said. “We did not carry out any such drive in Gurugram.”
The self-proclaimed Shiv Sainiks on Thursday forced meat markets in Surat Nagar, Ashok Vihar, Pataudi Chowk, Sadar Bazaar and the DLF area, among several other localities in Gurugram, to shut down. Raj said they had served a memorandum to the District Deputy Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh to order raw meat shops to remain closed during the festival, but the district administration has not passed such an order yet.
“Selling or serving non-vegetarian food during these nine days hurts the sensibilities of fasting Hindus, which is why we would insist all shops adhere to our request,” Raj told The Times of India. He further said that around 200 workers of their group will patrol the streets to ensure that meat is not served at eateries.