In shocking scenes seen in old Gurugram areas, Shiv Sena supporters descended in large numbers on various shops selling meat, meat products, and even dhabas and forced them to shut down and used threats to ensure their orders were carried out. Shuttered meat shops were seen in the area including the outlet of multinational company (MNC) KFC. Shiv Sena, part of the saffron grouping, was up in arms over the fact that the ‘Navratri’ festival had started and the meat shops were not conducive during the ongoing holy period. Sena men went from meat shop to meat shop to distribute pamphlets on which the dos and don’ts were printed in no uncertain terms. Not only were owners asked to remain shut during Navratri period, they were also ordered to keep their shutters down on Tuesdays too. The Haryana administration is yet to respond to the events taking place – Haryana is run by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government led by Chief Minister ML Khattar. In the meanwhile, the shop owners on whom the ‘notice’ was served by the Sena hurried to comply without demur and those that were ‘open’, were turning away the customers who had come shopping. The Sena men were out in strength with over 200 of them running loose on the streets.
According to an India Today report Shiv Sena men caused the shops from Palam Vihar, Pataudi Chowk to Sector 14 and more to shut down. Sena men had also come calling on the KFC outlet and literally forced the customers out, aside from serving ‘notice’ on the management to close their establishment. The report also says that the Sena had sought and received ‘support’ from the cops and the civil authorities.
This follows closely in the wake of the brewing row in Uttar Pradesh where the new dispensation under BJP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has unleashed a crackdown against illegal slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh that has caused a meat shortage across the state leading to the industry going on a strike – there have been cases of some meat shops being burned down by unidentified assailants too. An industry delegation did meet a government representative and a list of their demands was handed over, but there were no reassurances forthcoming and this has led to the strike not being called off.
However, later in the day, Shiv Sena announced that they had not ordered any protest against the meat shops. They also denied their involvement in the closure of the KFC outlet.