East Delhi mayor urges meat vendors to close shops during Navratri

A worker closes the shutter of a meat shop at INA market in New Delhi, Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Photo: PTI/Arun Sharma

New Delhi: East Delhi Mayor Shyam Sunder Aggarwal on Tuesday "appealed" to traders to keep meat shops closed during Navratri or at least on the last three days of the festival, even as authorities said "no official order" has been issued in this connection.

Aggarwal also claimed that during Navratri, "90 per cent people do not consume non-vegetarian food.”

The East Delhi mayor's remarks come a day after his counterpart in South Delhi, Mukesh Suryan, said that meat shops will not be allowed to open from Tuesday, during Navratri, till April 11.

'Religious sentiments of devotees are affected'

Suryan also wrote a letter to SDMC Commissioner Gyanesh Bharti for closure of meat shops during the festive period, saying, "religious beliefs and sentiments of devotees are affected" when they come across meat shops or have to bear the foul smell of meat on their way to offer daily prayers to goddess Durga during Navratri.

The Navratri period is from April 2-11, when the faithful observe a fast and largely eat 'satvik' food.

On Tuesday, Aggarwal held a meeting with several senior officials from the veterinary and health departments, and health inspectors, among others.

"I held a meeting today with senior officials, and in keeping with the religious sentiments of people, have appealed to traders to keep meat shops closed during Navratri, or at least on the last three days of the festival," he said.

The East Delhi mayor, however, said every year on the last three days of Navratri, Ghazipur slaughterhouse is closed, and this year it will be closed from April 8-10.

Workers sit outside closed meat shops, at INA market in New Delhi, Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Photo: PTI/Arun Sharma

16 teams to be formed to keep an eye

"It means if anyone is selling meat (of buffalo or goat) in this period, it would be either stale or slaughtering done through illegal means. So, I have ordered that 16 teams be formed to keep an eye on such traders, and take actions accordingly," Aggarwal claimed.

"Actions will include seizure of meat or imposition of challan or even revoking of license or sealing of shops, according to the situation," he said.

Official sources, however, said, "No official order has been given by the EDMC authorities in this connection."

The matter is largely being seen as one of a "political nature," they said.

Suryan on Tuesday said there was "no need to open meat shops" during Navratri claiming that "most people do not consume non-vegetarian food" during this period, even as the move has triggered sharp reactions on social media.

No official order has been issued by the SMDC so far.

"Most of the meat shops were closed today. Most people do not eat meat, onion-garlic during Navratri time. So keeping in view the religious sentiments of the public, there is no need to open meat shops during the Navratri festival. An order in this regard will be issued today," Suryan said.

Tuesday is considered an auspicious day by a majority of sections of the community, and several meat shops are generally closed on this day of the week.

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