March 24, 2021 2:18:30 am
Five days after the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram voted in favour of meat shops in the city being closed every Tuesday, most establishments in the city complied with the directions.
According to officials from the MCG, of the 129 licensed meat shops in areas that fall under the civic body’s jurisdiction, “at least 120” remained closed on Tuesday.
“Around 70 teams comprising people from both MCG and Gurgaon Police fanned out across the city and checked all the 129 licensed shops, of which at least 120 were found to have complied with the closure. The ones that were found to be operating were all located near Sadar Bazar,” said a senior official from the MCG.
“Since this was the first day of the closure coming into force, we let off people with a warning. However, anyone found to be operating on Tuesdays from next week will be penalised as per law,” he said.
Meat shop owners in the city said they would comply with the order, but only because of a “lack of choice”.
“These directions are completely wrong. If someone does not eat meat on a specific day, they can choose not to come to our shops on that day. Why does everyone have to follow this rule? Eating meat is an individual choice,” said a meat shop owner in Jacobpura. “But we have no choice except to follow it. Where do we even go to object? Who will listen? We simply have to do what is asked.”
Arif, another meat seller in the same market, said, “We pay very high rent for our shops — Rs 80,000 or more. In addition to that, we pay for our accommodation, daily expenses. How are we expected to earn enough if our shops have to remain closed once a week? We cannot tell our landlords to charge us only for six days a week.”
On March 18 the MCG, during its House Meeting, unanimously voted in favour of closing meat shops every Tuesday. Although there was no such proposal in the agenda, the matter was brought up while discussing the proposal to double license fee for meat shops from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. The councillors arguing in favour of the closure on Tuesdays cited “Hindu sentiments”. The suggestion was supported by MCG Mayor Madhu Azad.
Although MCG Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh intervened while the subject was under discussion, reminding councillors that “this is an individual choice” and warning that “the house should think before making any decision regarding the entire city”, the proposal found the unanimous support of the House and was passed.
At the same House Meeting, the MCG voted in favour of doubling the license fee for meat shops and increasing the penalty on those selling meat illegally from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000.
It was decided that shops penalised for operating illegally three times will be sealed, and an FIR will be registered against the owners if the seals are broken.
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