The Gurugram Police in Haryana on Sunday arrested two members of the Hindu Sena for allegedly forcing owners of meat shops to shut businesses the previous day in view of the Navratri festival, The Indian Express reported.
Police identified the arrested men as Rajesh alias Cheeka and Pramod – both residents of Dundahera. The Haryana unit of the Hindu Sena confirmed that they belong to the organisation.
A group of at least 40 men wielding swords, iron rods and batons allegedly forced meat shop owners near Dundahera to shut their establishments and threatened to kill them if they did not close shops on Saturday. “Rajesh and Pramod along with 40 other members of the Hindu Sena have been booked for threatening meat shop owners with dire consequences for opening their businesses,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Sumer Singh, according to PTI.
A first information report was registered based on a video shared on social media, which showed men marching on the street, asking shops to down shutters.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Birem Singh said six people have been named in the complaint, while at least 25 people are unidentified, reported Hindustan Times. “We are trying to identify people from the video,” Singh said. “Police are probing if the said meat shops had obtained licences. However, people cannot take the law into their hands and force the closure of shops by brandishing weapons.”
Police said a case was registered under sections of the Indian Penal Code, including rioting, unlawful assembly and criminal intimidation, and the Arms Act on Sunday.
Ritu Raj, Haryana president of the Hindu Sena, said that Rajesh and Pramod had been associated with the outfit for the past six months. He said members of the Hindu Sena had closed 180 to 200 shops on Saturday. “This is actually the job of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram, police, and the health department,” Raj said, according to The Indian Express. “These shops are illegal, but because they are not doing their work, we have to take to the streets to do it for them.”
Raj said officials of the health department and municipal corporation should also be prosecuted if the police have launched an inquiry against Hindu Sena members.