The Gautam Budh Nagar police Saturday arrested Ved Nagar, head of the Gau Raksha Dal in the district, for allegedly forcibly shutting down meat shops in Greater Noida. In the past week, police sources said, a number of meat shops had been shut down in various areas of Greater Noida.
Police said 12 teams of the outfit have allegedly been operating in the district, distributing audio clips that warn shops of dire consequences if they don’t stop serving meat, fish and eggs during Navratri.
The outfit, which has been active in the district for the past few years, claimed it had petitioned the administration and police to “ensure that religious sentiments of Hindus are followed” and that “meat isn’t served”. When both took no action, Nagar claimed on Friday that he “shut down shops in the neighbourhood”.
Gautam Budh Nagar SP (RA) Suniti said, “Outfits can’t shut down shops arbitrarily. We have sensitised local intelligence units to report information regarding this.” Police said Nagar was arrested from Acheja village under IPC Section 151 (illegal assembly).
The audio clip released by the group claimed that over 12 such cow vigilantes teams were operating in Noida and Ghaziabad, which prompted many to voluntarily down their shutters. In November 2015, a month after Mohammad Akhlaq (50) was beaten to death following rumours of cow slaughter in Dadri, police had stopped a rally in the area organised by the outfit. Nagar was also arrested in November 2015, when he allegedly attempted to create a ruckus at a hotel in Noida, claiming they were “serving beef”.