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Civic Body Shuts Gurugram Meat Shops on Tuesdays Citing 'Religious Sentiments', License Fee Doubled

Representative image: People sit outside the closed meat shops in Gurugram, India, October 12, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Representative image: People sit outside the closed meat shops in Gurugram, India, October 12, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

The penalty for illegally run shops has also been increased 10 times from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000.

The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram decided in its House meeting on Thursday that meat shops in the city would be closed on Tuesdays. During the meeting, a few councillors raised the issue citing “religious sentiments”, and the proposal was accepted after deliberation, the Hindustan Times reported.

“All meat shops in Gurugram will be closed on Tuesdays. The licence fee for meat shops has been increased from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. The penalty for illegally run shops has also been increased 10 times from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000,” ANI quoted Gurugram Mayor Madhu Azad as saying.

According to MCG officials, the city has 129 licenced meat shops, with up to 150 more operating illegally. The Haryana Municipal Corporation bylaws of 2008 say that every municipal corporation in the state has the authority to close meat shops on a single weekday with immediate effect.

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The report by HT said the MCG put forth an agenda before the House on restarting the issuance of licences to meat shop owners and doubling the license fee from Rs 5,000 to ₹10,000. MCG councillors Ashwani Sharma and Dharambir Singh of wards 23 and 21, respectively, said the civic body should increase the licencing fee to 50,000 and demanded the closure on Tuesdays, citing religious sentiments, shortly after the agenda was tabled.

However, MCG commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh objected, saying food was a personal choice.

“One shouldn’t raise such issues, you may believe in closing meat shops on Tuesday. In my opinion, this is an individual choice. I eat meat but my wife doesn’t. I do not force her, and she does not force me. It is completely a personal choice. When households have differences on this issue, the House should give this a serious thought before making any decision regarding the entire city. Food is an independent choice,” Hindustan Times quoted Singh as saying.

After councillors said the bye-laws allowed for the closure, Singh then left the decision on the matter to the House. Azad also supported to the motion and the resolution on closing meat shops falling within the MCG area on Tuesdays was approved.

Vinay Pratap Singh also suggested that the MCG raise the penalty levied on illegal meat shops from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000, which was unanimously agreed upon during the meeting. He also mentioned that if a shop is fined three times for operating unlawfully, the MCG could permanently close it.