Acting on their threat to forcibly shut meat shops in Gurgaon during Navratri if the district administration did not issue orders to do so, multiple Hindu outfits forced owners to lower their shutters on Wednesday morning. Office bearers of the outfits said 10 teams closed shops in areas including Rajiv Colony, the meat market near Jama Masjid, Manesar, Badshahpur, Fazilpur, Ashok Vihar, Jharsa, Basai and Daulatabad.
Confrontations broke out in some areas, with police saying that an FIR has been registered in connection with one such incident. “An FIR has been registered at Sector 14 police station on a complaint by Madhav Karan, who owns a meat shop in Rajiv Colony,” said Rajeev Kumar, ACP (City). “He also submitted a video to us, which shows a man slapping him. We will identify and arrest the person soon,” he added.
Earlier in the day, four people — including the Haryana president of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Kranti Dal, Chetan Sharma, and Gurgaon coordinator of the Bajrang Dal, Abhishek Gaur — were taken into preventive arrest, prompting a sit-in protest by the outfits outside the police station. They were released by evening. “… Hindu outfits will hold a meeting at 10 am on Thursday morning to decide what to do next,” said Ritu Raj, Haryana state president of Hindu Sena.
Owners of shops that were targeted, however, said they intend to open on Thursday. “We had a meeting with these groups last week. We reached an understanding that we would cover the entrance to the market so that the shops are not visible from the main road. However, they made us close our shops today,” said Tahir, who owns a shop near Jama Masjid.
Deputy Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh said, “The district administration is resolved to take care of security of meat shops, in case they are forcibly asked to shut down by any group… Police apprehended a few (people). Action will continue.”