K’taka: Right-wing goons forcibly shut down meat shops; vandalise Muslim couple’s chicken shop

The incident took place near Belagavi and the police refused to lodge FIR in the matter forcing the complainant to reach a compromise with the attackers, who continue to harass them even now

communalismRepresentation Image | PTI

A Muslim couple’s chicken shop was vandalised in the outskirts of Belagavi city, Karnataka on the same day as a temple opening was scheduled. The incident took place on October 8, however, it came to light only recently after a video went viral. The police, however, refused to register an FIR in the matter and instead effected a “compromise” between them and the attackers, even though the couple insisted on police taking action.

Hasan Sab and his wife Afsana Hasan Sab Khureshi own the shop in Yamunapur which is 6kms from the city of Belagavi. A ring-wing group had demanded that meat shops be closed in the area and accordingly the couple had closed the shop by 11 A.M. However, they had sent someone to clean the shop thereafter. That is when the attackers vandalised the shop and assaulted the workers cleaning the shop as well. “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.

There was no administrative order to keep meat shops shut on that day and merely a threatening demand from the right-wing group.

Afsana said that they had even donated Rs. 2,500 towards the construction of the temple. She added that when they opened the shop again, the goons continued to harass them and tried to extort money from them saying that they would expel us from the village.

When the video went viral, the police were on their toes but only to identify who uploaded the video and not to take action against the attackers.

When Indian Express approached Belagavi Police Commissioner K Thiyagarajan, he 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.

Now, complainants injured in hit and run

On Tuesday evening, Hasan Sab was injured in a hit-and-run incident, when they were returning home. According to a report in the Indian Express, his wife Afsana, who was riding pillion, has alleged the accident was “planned”. She told IE, “It was around 7.45 P.M, my husband and I were heading back from Belagavi to Yamanapur on our scooter. A bike with probably two persons came from behind and rammed into our vehicle and fled from the spot. They did not even turn back to look and it all happened in the blink of an eye. My husband Hasan has been injured severely in the incident. With the help of locals, we shifted him to the hospital where he is undergoing treatment.”

What’s worse, they had earlier been dissuaded from filing a police report. According to news reports, after their shop had been vandalised Afsana was told by local police 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.” Afsana now feels that this is an attempt is to send them away from the village. “But we have built a life here. This time, I will file a complaint and the bike accident was planned,” she said.


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