Meat shops in South Delhi will be closed during the Hindu festival of Navratri, from April 5 to 11, the area’s top municipal officer has confirmed, adding the ban will be strictly enforced.
South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) Mayor Mukesh Suryan said the decision was taken following complaints and does not violate anyone’s personal liberty.
“We will strictly close all meat shops. When meat is not sold, people will not eat it,” Suryan told NDTV, citing the example of Islamic nations where eating and drinking in public is prohibited during Ramzan.
“We have taken this decision keeping in mind the sentiments of Delhiites. People complained to me. The fasting people were facing problems over the cutting of meat in the open. This is not a violation of anyone’s personal liberty,” Suryan said.
“We will strictly follow the decision of meat ban. On 8, 9, 10 April, we will also close all slaughterhouses,” he added.
On Monday the mayor had announced that meat shops under his civic body should be shut during the “auspicious period of Navratri devoted to Goddess Durga”, adding that devotees during these nine days avoid eating meat and certain spices.
East Delhi Municipal Corporation Mayor Shyam Sundar Agarwal made the same demand. “Closing of meat shops will make us happy during this festival,” he said.
“What’s the problem? What’s wrong with this? We are just asking for Navratra, not for regular [sic],” Suryan said.
In a letter to SDMC Commissioner Gyanesh Bharti seen by news agency PTI, Suryan said “religious beliefs and sentiments of devotees are affected” when they come across meat shops on their way to offer daily prayers during Navratri.
“Keeping in view the sentiments and feelings of the general public, necessary directions may be issued to the officers concerned to take action for the closure of meat shops during the nine-day period of the Navratri festival extending from April 2, 2022, to April 11, 2022,” Suryan wrote.