JEHANGIR ALI | 7 MARCH, 2019
Kashmiri Vendors Attacked in Lucknow, Videos Go Viral
Abused and assaulted
SRINAGAR: At least two Kashmiri vendors were abused and assaulted yesterday by unidentified men purportedly belonging to Hindu rightwing outfits in the capital city Lucknow of Uttar Pradesh, prompting the police to file an FIR.
Two videos of the assault have gone viral on social media showing a group of stick-wielding men robed in saffron uppers and white pants abusing and assaulting Kashmiri vendors selling dry fruits.
According to reports, the incident took place yesterday in the Daliganj area of Lucknow where dozens of vendors, including women, are seen in the video selling different items. In one video, un unknown man can be seen repeatedly slapping a Kashmiri vendor before asking him to pack up his stall.
“Don’t let them go. Police are coming,” the stick-wielding man tells his fellow, before a passerby intervenes and questions the Hindu rightwing goons.
“Why are you assaulting him?” he asks, to which the stick wielding man replies that they are Kashmiris.
“So what?” the passerby continues.
“They are pelting stones (not clear what he is referring to),” the saffron clad man replies, whereupon the passerby warns them not to take the law into their hands and to let the police come.
The accused then asks the unidentified vendor, a middle-aged man, to show his identity papers before the video comes to an end.
In the second video, the same group of saffron-clad men are seen mercilessly beating up another Kashmiri vendor at Daliganj who begs with folded hands to let him go. But the men pounce on him and continue assaulting him with sticks and slaps.
The incident comes days after Kashmiri students and traders were communally targeted in isolated incidents across the country in the aftermath of the February 14 suicide bombing in Pulwama that left 49 paramilitary troopers dead.
Although the communal violence directed against Kashmiris in different educational institutions and markets of the country has subsided, the fresh incident in Yogi Adityanath’s Uttar Pradesh is likely to spark tensions in the Valley.
“Dear PM @narendramodi Sahib, this is what you had spoken against & yet it continues unabated. This is the state governed by your handpicked Chief Minister. Can we expect action in this case or do we file your concern & assurances as a jumla, meant to placate but nothing more,” former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah said on Twitter today.
According to reports, Lucknow police has registered a case under sections 147/323/504 of Indian Penal Code in the incident and one arrest has been made.