A day after 30-40 men from the Hindu Sena, who came brandishing swords, rods and sticks, forced several meat shops in Gurgaon to shut on the first day of Navratri, police made two arrests Sunday. The Haryana state president of the Hindu Sena confirmed that the men belong to the outfit. Police identified the arrested men as Dundahera residents Rajesh alias Cheeka and Pramod.
The incident took place around 11 am on Saturday, when the men forced meat shops near the Dundahera border to close down and also allegedly threatened to kill those who did not do so, said police. “A case was registered at Udyog Vihar police station under IPC sections 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), and 506 (criminal intimidation), as well as sections of the Arms Act. The two arrested men have confessed to the crime during initial questioning,” said Subhash Boken, PRO of Gurgaon Police.
Birem Singh, ACP (Udyog Vihar), added, “The case has been registered against six people by name, some of whom have a criminal record. Of the two arrested today, Rajesh has two FIRs registered against him over fights in the past.”
Ritu Raj, Haryana state president of the Hindu Sena, meanwhile, said: “We had closed 180 to 200 shops on Saturday. This is actually the job of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG), police, and the health department. These shops are illegal, but because they are not doing their work, we have to take to the streets to do it for them.”
“If they are registering a case against us, shouldn’t they also register a case against those who are running these shops illegally? We have submitted memorandums to the MCG and district administration requesting that meat shops be closed for Navratri. We had to do this because they did not see that through,” he said.
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MCG officials are trying to ascertain if the shops were illegal or not.
According to police, the accused will be produced in court on Monday and taken into police remand for further questioning. “The identities of the others involved in this incident will also be ascertained, and weapons they used to intimidate people will be retrieved,” said PRO Boken.
This is not the first time meat shop owners are being forced to shut shop during Navratri. Last October, Hindu outfits, under the banner of the Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti, had fanned out across Gurgaon and “appealed” to owners to close their stores. Owners, however, had alleged that they were forced to do so.
The Samiti, however, distanced itself from Saturday’s act. “We have submitted requests to the MCG and district administration for meat shops to be closed during this period. However, we have not taken any action ourselves,” claimed convenor Mahavir Bhardwaj. The Hindu Sena is part of the Samiti.