Trinamool Spokesperson Saket Gokhale On Delhi Meat Shops Ban


'Delhi Is Not Gotham City': Trinamool Member's Jibe On Delhi Meat Shops Ban

There are around 1,500 registered meat shops in the jurisdiction of the SDMC.

New Delhi:

The forced shutting down of meat shops in South Delhi during the Hindu festival of Navratri is “completely and absolutely illegal”, a Trinamool Congress spokesperson said in a letter to the Municipal Commissioner of South Delhi, demanding an immediate circular announcing that the ban on meat shops is illegal. The controversy, triggered by South Delhi Mayor Mukesh Suryan after he announced that meat shops under his civic body should be shut during the “auspicious period of Navratri devoted to Goddess Durga”, has snowballed into a massive controversy with many calling it unfair, and even communal.

“Delhi isn’t Gotham City,” Saket Gokhale tweeted, in a reference to the fictional city in Batman comic books. 

Referring to news reports that said meat shops in various parts of Delhi were being forced to shut, Mr Gokhale said that the mayor does not wield any executive power to order the shutting down of shops.

“May I take this opportunity to remind you that, as Commissioner, you are the sole executive authority in charge of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation. Closure of any shops (meat or otherwise) can only be ordered for health/safety/other valid reasons,” he said in the letter.

The South Delhi Mayor had said that the decision was taken 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,” Mr Suryan said.

The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) Mayor has also called for the shutting of these shops during the nine-day festival. 

However, there was no official order issued by the civic bodies.

Following the ban calls, several meat shop owners in these areas of the national capital kept their establishments closed yesterday, fearing action by officials.

Earlier today, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra had also slammed the ban. Referring to freedoms guaranteed to Indian citizens by the Constitution, she said it allows her to eat meat whenever she likes and also allows shopkeepers selling meat the freedom to conduct their business. 

Mr Gokhale also trained his guns at the Municipal Commissioner, accusing him of “gross dereliction of duty” for failing to intervene in the situation.

Calling the verbal order by the South Delhi Mayor illegal, he also asked the Commissioner to compensate those that would have lost their livelihood due to the shutting of shops.

“The tacit support provided by your office to the mayor’s illegal whims and your failure to implement the law and to prevent the illegal closure of meat shops is a violation of fundamental constitutional rights of people.,” Mr Gokhale said. 

There are around 1,500 registered meat shops in the jurisdiction of the SDMC, according to news agency PTI.


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