Gurugram: Shiv Sena shuts 500 shops selling meat products

Four more BJP-ruled states follow UP and crack the whip on illegal meat shops

"Our problem is how will we feed our families if the government shuts our shops, according to rumours, from April 1", said Mohammad Fakhruddin (name changed), a meat shop owner based near Rajeev Chowk. They had not responded by the time of publication, and we will update the copy if they do. "We have asked customers of KFC to cooperate with us in vacating the place".

While the KFC outlet in Sector 14 re-opened that same evening, many shops in the area remained closed for 24 hours after the Shiv Sena's intimidation drive around town. "Some said they were having supply issues, while the others decided not to take a risk", said Shakir Khan, who identified himself as an employee from one of the shops sitting among a group of half a dozen young men utilising the space to catch up on gossip, tea and game of cards.

After the Uttar Pradesh government came under heavy criticism for cracking down on slaughter houses in the state, alleged members of the Shiv Sena on Wednesday forced shut over 300 meat shops, including a KFC outlet in Gurugram for Navratri, reported Hindustan Times.

"We have served notices to hotels, dhabas, eateries serving non-vegetarian food, apart from raw meat and chicken shops owners to keep shops shut during Navratri and on Tuesdays". Just last September, the Haryana police and State's animal husbandry department officials raided shops and vendors selling biryani in Mewat district of Haryana, which is a Muslim-dominated area, after they received complaints that beef was being added to the dish.

Ironically, calling the forced shutting down of joints a "good gesture" from restaurants, Ritu Raj, who claims to be Shiv Sena's Gurgaon spokesperson, says, "Our drive was directed at meat shops initially, but later, we extended it to restaurants and fast food chains".

Gurgaon Police, however, distanced themselves from the parties' claim that they are party to this. "We have requested the police to initiate action against those misusing Sena's name and trying to create disharmony", said Raj. We did not force anyone to down shutters. "They agreed not to repeat them", said Nehra. The party had officially opposed a meat ban in Mumbai.

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