A group of men from the Hindu Sena allegedly forcibly shut meat shops in Delhi’s Dwarka district on Thursday and demanded that all such shops stay shut during Navratri. Police, however, said they have not received any complaint and added that the meat market was already shut and no shop was forced to close.
A video of the men going around a meat market in Najafgarh’s Som Bazaar and raising slogans was uploaded online on Tuesday. In the video, the men say all meat markets have been shut during Navratri. “We found that one-two shops (meat shops) were still open. They have also been shut now…,” said the man who shot the video.
Hindu Sena national president Vishnu Gupta confirmed that a few activists were sent to Najafgarh, who filmed the video. “Our workers went to Najafgarh on Tuesday and today to close all meat shops in Som Bazaar. We want these shops to be shut only for nine days to respect sentiments of Hindus. I don’t think this would affect anyone’s business as people don’t eat meat during Navratri anyway. Hindu meat sellers had already shut their shops, others should too. Our workers didn’t attack anyone. Vendors and sellers in the market cooperated with us. There was no violence,” he said.
Meat sellers and other vendors at the market said the men came and protested.
Kamal, who owns a chicken shop in the area, said, “I was asked to shut my shop and I did. The men said I can start selling meat after Navratri. We didn’t want to argue or fight with them. Residents might also be involved and I don’t want to get into trouble. So, I have closed the shop for a week.”
Another shopkeeper, who refused to be named, said, “We sell meat and fish, and a few restaurants and families were buying meat from us. The Hindu Sena men came and demanded that we shut our shop for Navratri. They asked me to pull down the shutter. I didn’t fight and left the shop with my father. What else can we do?”
DCP (Dwarka) Shankar Chaudhary said, “We saw the tweet and the videos on social media. The video was shot on Tuesday, when the meat market opposite Don Bosco school is usually closed. No shop was closed by a third person. Further, nobody lodged a complaint or made a PCR call related to the matter.”
Police said sellers have shut their meat shops and the men in the video didn’t “provoke” anyone.