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Meat outlets to remain closed during Navratri in view of public sentiments, says South Delhi Mayor

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

New Delhi: South Delhi Municipal Corporation Mayor on Monday (April 4, 2022) said that the meat shops will not be allowed to open from Tuesday during Navratri till April 11 and urged Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to issue orders to shut liquor shops during the nine-day festival.

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This is the first time when the civic body has asked for the closure of meat shops under its jurisdiction during Navratri which is being observed from April 2-11.

In a letter to SDMC Commissioner Gyanesh Bharti, Mayor Mukesh Suryan said “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.

He said that during the period of Navratri, devotees of goddess Durga observe fast for nine days with a strict vegetarian diet as well as abstain from the use of non-vegetarian food items, alcohol and also certain spices.

During these days, people forgo even the use of onion and garlic in their diets and the sight of meat being sold in the open or near temples makes them uncomfortable, Suryan added in the letter.

“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,” he wrote.

He also said some meat shops dump waste in gutters or beside the road, which the stray dogs feed on and 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 festival in the area under the jurisdiction of SDMC and the closing of meat shops near temples is also necessary to maintain the cleanliness in and around temples,” Suryan wrote.

It is notable that there are around 1,500 registered meat shops in the jurisdiction of the SDMC.

In his letter to Kejriwal, Suryan said that “religious sentiments of devotees are affected” when they come across liquor shops on their way to temples to offer daily prayers to goddess Durga during Navratri.

He said that during the period of Navratri, devotees observe fast for nine days with a strict vegetarian diet and abstain from non-vegetarian food items, alcohol and also certain spices.

Suryan said that people drink alcohol outside liquor shops and create “an atmosphere of fear” for devotees.

“Keeping in view the sentiments and feelings of the general public, please issue necessary directions to officials to shut liquor shops during the Navratri (from April 2 to 11) and also take action against those drinking outside such shops,” Suryan said in his letter.

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