Members of the Indian ultranationalist organisation Shiv Sena have forced over 300 meat shops in Gurgaon, including an outlet of KFC, to shut down as Hindus celebrated Navratri, a nine-day festival where devotees only eat vegetarian food.
They demanded that all the meat shops close for the entire nine-day stretch. “A number of Hindus fast on Navratri and on Tuesday of every week. It does not feel good to see meat being sold and served on these days.
Most shopkeepers supported the move and we ‘consulted’ those who resisted,” said Ritu Raj, who claimed to be the district spokesperson of Shiv Sena.Raj claimed that the shops which were made to shut down did not have licences to operate, and hence were ‘illegal’.
“Most of them do not follow proper procedures laid down for meat shops,” he said, adding that the shops were warned prior to being barred from selling meat.
Unaware of the incident, a Gurgaon police spokesperson, said no complaint had been received so far, but action would be taken against any illegal acts by party members.
Referring to the incident, a KFC spokesperson said, “As a responsible corporate citizen, KFC operates in compliance with the laws of the land. We have not received any notification from the authorities on limiting operations during the Navratras or Tuesdays. We would like to reiterate that KFC has the highest respect for the cultural and religious beliefs of all communities and believe that consumers are free to make choices and decisions.”
This article originally appeared on Hindustan Times.