No sale during Navratri: South MCD to amend meat shop owners licence

By Ashish Srivastava New Delhi, April 4 : The South Delhi M cipal Corporation (SDMC) will soon bring a policy change for meat shop owners, wherein licences to such shops will be issued with a condition that they will close down their business during the period of Navratri, Mayor Mukesh Suryaan told on Monday. “We will amend the policy to grant the commercial licence to butchers and meat shops. A condition of ceasing the business activities during the nine days of Navratri will be a pre-requisite to obtaining the licence,” he said. While Suryaan said the condition will be limited only to the nine days of Navratri, he also indicated that the m cipal body may also enforce the closure during other Hindu festivals. “Such decisions are taken after receiving proposals and demand from the public. So far, we have received the request to close down raw meat shops mostly during Navratri,” the Mayor said. When asked whether non-Hindus or those who eat meat during the nine-day festival were consulted before taking the decision, Suryaan said he received requests from “everyone”. On Monday, the Mayor directed the South Delhi M cipal Corporation to issue necessary directions for the closure of meat shops for the remaining days of the Navratri festival, which will end on April 11. Suryaan said the decision was taken in view of the sentiments and feelings of the general public and was applicable with immediate effect. According to the South Delhi Mayor, 95 per cent of people in India don’t eat meat during Navratri and it’s for the welfare of everyone that the meat shops remain closed during Navratri. “The decision is not only for Hindus, 95 per cent of people in India don’t eat meat during the period of Navratri, while the majority avoids the consumption of onion and garlic as well,” he said. When asked whether the Christian comm ty were consulted before the decision or Muslims who are observing a month-long period of Ramzan parallel to Navratri, Suryaan did not comment, but reiterated that “everyone supported the closure of meat shops during Navratri”. In a letter written to South MCD Commissioner Gyanesh Bharti, the Mayor stated “Sight of meat being sold in open or near temples makes them (people) uncomfortable and affects their religious belief and sentiments,” as the major reason behind closing the meat shops. “Moreover, people have to bear the foul smell of raw meat during the whole Navratri. Some meat shops dump waste in gutters or beside the roads, which the stray dogs feed on. It is not only unhygienic, but also an appalling sight for passersby. Such events can be restricted, if the meat shops are closed down during the period of Navratri,” he added in the letter. The former Mayor of North Delhi M cipal Corporation J,ai Prakash supported the decision and said people from other religions should welcome the decision to respect the sentiments of the majority comm ty. “Minority comm ties should welcome the decision. They should respect the sentiments of the majority comm ty to receive the respect from the majority comm ty,” he said, while speaking to . ASH RJ

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