Two days after 25-year-old Bharat Yadav succumbed to injuries after being beaten up over a lassi bill, Mathura Police has been keeping vigil to prevent any tension. A lassi shop owner, Bharat was allegedly assaulted by around 15 men after an argument over payment, police said.
“The initial information was that three people including a woman came to the shop to buy lassi. There was an argument at the time of payment. It was initially resolved, but the accused allegedly brought more people who hit him and took money from the shop. After the victim’s death, the FIR was updated to relevant sections. Two accused, Hanif and Fahim, have been arrested. The role of 15 people is under scanner,” said Satyarth Aniruddha Pankaj, SSP Mathura.
Prima facie it appears that the accused do not have criminal backgrounds, police added.
On May 18, Bharat was sitting alone in Nathu shop when the customers approached. Hanif, a woman and another accused reportedly ordered three glasses of lassi and wanted six glasses packed. According to Bharat’s brother, they were short of Rs 20, which led to an argument.
“We have been running the shop for decades. I was told that Bharat was ready to forego the money, and told them to come back later. But they began abusing him. Other shopkeepers intervened and the issue was resolved momentarily. But Hanif came back with 15 people and beat him badly,” said Munna Yadav (34), Bharat’s brother.
According to Bharat’s family and eyewitnesses, the group dragged him out and beat him on the road. They allegedly ransacked the shop, broke equipment and looted cash.
Bharat received treatment for external injuries. But over the next few days, he complained of headaches and was shifted to a hospital in Agra. On Friday, the doctors said nerves in his brain were damaged. On Saturday, Bharat died due to the head injuries, the family was told.
Hundreds of people gathered and forces were deployed in Chowk Bazar as Bharat’s body reached home, police said. Most shops were shut to protest alleged police inaction.
“When the body was brought, some people tried to give it communal colour but no reports of communal tension was received. Since Ramzan is on, to prevent tension of any nature, forces have been deployed as a precaution,” said SSP Pankaj.
Bharat’s wife Neetu sat next to his garlanded picture, opposite a room with plates of stale curd and earthen cups. “The shop is shut, the raw materials will probably go to waste. I just want justice for Bharat and severe punishment so that it does not happen to anyone else,” said Munna.
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