Gautam Buddh Nagar police has issued instructions in areas of Greater Noida, including Dadri, to remove, cover or relocate stalls selling “objectionable” food items such as “egg and chicken” away from the route taken by kanwariyas for the next two days. The move, which the police said was routine and annual, comes two years after 50-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched in his village in Dadri on suspicion that he consumed beef. Police sources, however, maintained that with an increase in cases of beef-related lynchings — the most recent being reported in adjacent Faridabad — “the move is an attempt to ensure there is no chance of communal tension”.
SP (Rural) Suniti said, “The measure is routine and happens every year. All shops selling objectionable items are removed from the route taken by kanwariyas or are asked to shut down or instructed to relocate from the route or cover their stall or shop.” She added, “This measure is put in place to ensure that there is no untoward incident, particularly in sensitive areas, including Jewar-Bulandshahr, Dadri and the Grand Trunk Road that connects Dadri with Ghaziabad.” A senior police officer told The Indian Express, “This area has had a history of communal tension since Dadri, ranging from incidents sparked by allegations of cattle theft to those related to beef consumption. This is a precautionary measure taken to ensure that communal harmony is maintained.”