A week after communal violence rocked Haryana’s Nuh and Gurugram districts, Muslim traders here have been left in a state of shock as an ‘economic boycott’ was announced by a Hindu body at a Mahapanchayat organised in Tigra village of Gurugram.
A year ago, Imran (name changed) opened his meat shop in Gurugram’s Rajiv Nagar area. He was at his shop when he heard about riots that had broken out in Nuh on July 31 a procession organised by the VHP.
“I assumed the matter would be sorted out in Nuh only but later, it escalated to different parts of Gurugram. As the news of violence in Gurugram spread, around six Muslim traders including I in the Rajiv Nagar area did not open shops to assess the situation,” he said.
Imran said he was planning to re-open his shop over the weekend. However, the announcement on Sunday during the Mahapanchayat organised by a Hindu group members in Tigra village has come as a shocker for Imran.
During the meeting, calls were made to boycott Muslim-run businesses.Imran has said that it has come as a shocking reminder that “I could be their next target”.He said this did not happen to him for the first time.
During Navratri, the Muslim traders closed their shops for nine days to avoid any incidents and returned to their native places. He alleged that “Hindu groups can abuse us, beat us, threaten us and can do anything… while the police and the government stay silent”.
Imran said that he suffered a loss of Rs 1,400 per day as his shop remained shut. Muslim traders used to come here some years ago from regions in western Uttar Pradesh such as Bijnor, Aligarh and Saharanpur.
Another meat shop owner in Sanjay Gram, Iqbal, said: “As the violence spread to Gurugram our lives are at stake now. Our shops have been closed. We have to pay monthly rent. We are even borrowing money from our well-wishers for food. This ‘economic boycott’ will crush our business.”
In Gurugram, Muslims own hundreds of shops, including clothing stores, salons, scrap shops, and motorcycle repair shops. “We barely make enough to sustain ourselves. We are migrant workers. If we are not allowed to earn a living, we won’t be able to survive,” Abdul said.
Meanwhile, ACP Varun Dahiya has said that action is being taken against those disturbing law and order in the city. The presence of police personnel and patrolling has been intensified in Gurugram to protect migrant workers and others, the police officer said.
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