A chicken shop owned by a Muslim family was allegedly vandalised by a Hindu right-wing group on the outskirts of Belagavi city in Karnataka. Though the incident took place on October 8, it came to light only when the video went viral on Monday as the local police allegedly did not register an FIR when the family had approached them.
According to the sources, the right-wing group had demanded the closure of chicken shops in the area owing to a temple opening. Though there was no direction from the district administration or any authority, the villagers had closed the chicken shops.
The right-wing group allegedly vandalised the chicken shop belonging to Hasan Sab and his wife Afsana Hasan Sab Khureshi in Yamanapur, 6 km from the city, and asked the couple to move away from the town in a threatening manner.
“We were allowed to open till 11 am and we did close the shop by then. By afternoon, we sent two of our workers to clean the shop and that is when some of them attacked the workers, assaulted them and vandalised the shop. When my husband and I went there after getting to know about this, they threatened us that they would not allow us to live in the town and tried to extort money from us,” Afsana told The Indian Express.
Afsana and her family, incidentally, had donated Rs 2,500 for the temple construction, she said.
“My husband was totally shocked. I approached the local police who held a ‘compromise’ meeting even though I had asked them to take action against the goons. The police told us that they had ‘settled the matter and would not intervene in our business and told us that there was no need to file a complaint,” she said.
“When we tried to open the shop again, these goons continued to trouble us and tried to extort money saying that they would expel us from the village,” she added.
“It was only on Monday morning they (the police) woke up when the video went viral. Shockingly, they are probing about who leaked the video but not the people who vandalised the shop,” she said.
Speaking to Indian Express, Belagavi city police commissioner K Thiyagarajan said that he was not aware of the incident and if the victims were unable to get justice at the police station, they should have approached higher officials.
Belagavi has witnessed multiple communal incidents recently, including the murder of a 24-year-old Muslim youth over having relationship with a Hindu woman. Arbaz Aftab Mulla, a car dealer from Khanapur, was decapitated and his body was dumped on the railway tracks on September 28. Eight people, including the parents of his girlfriend, were arrested in the case.
On October 13, a group of men allegedly attacked a youth and a woman from different communities and robbed them of Rs 50,000 near Belagavi.