By Syed Mueen
Bengaluru: On 30 March, Syed Ansar was going about his daily routine, when suddenly some Bajrang Dal members entered his chicken shop. They asked Ansar to give them non-halal chicken, which the shop obviously would not have. Things got ugly soon after the right-wing goons brutally assaulted a worker, after their demands were not met.
Ansar even in fact offered to bring non-Halal (cut) chicken from another shop for the Bajrang Dal goons, but they would not listen. “Banjraldal members including Srikant, Krishna and other fellows barged into my chicken shop on Wednesday afternoon and asked my staff member Tousif to serve them non-halal chicken. When tousif said we don’t sell non-halal chicken here, they assaulted him,” Ansar recalled.
Speaking with Siasat.com, Ansar stated that 15 to 12 Bajrang dal members created a ruckus inside his shop for serving Halal meat. “They were forcing me to cut non-halal chicken and serve them, I refused to do so. They were about to throw the halal cut chicken away as well, but they didn’t do that,” he added. Ansar said that he was even threatened with eviction as the goons asked him to empty the place for selling Halal chicken.
The incident took place on March 30 in Karnataka’s Shivamoga district, and is one among the several anti-Muslim or Islamophobic incidents that have taken in the state over the last few months. Earlier, most of the harassment was faced by college-going young Muslim women and school girls over them wearing Hijab, after they were prevented from wearing the headgear in educational institutions.
Soon, other incidents like what Ansar faced begun surfacing. What was even more daunting for Ansar was that the goons who attacked his worker were even his customers. “But day before yesterday they were about to smash us and throw all items on the road. My shop has been here from the last five years at Shivaji circle of Bhadravti and no such incidents took place earlier,” he added.
Syed Ansar eventually lodged a complaint against the Bajrang dal members for assaulting Tousif over the the issue and for barging into his shop. The police registered an FIR and even assured him of security to reopen his shop, he added.
Aside from this, the Bajrangdal unit of Chikmagulur district few days ago distributed pamphlets asking Hindus not to buy Halal Meat from Muslims ahead of Ugadi celebrations. They carried out a door to door campaign. The Bajrang Dal has started a state-level campaign against the purchase of meat from Muslim chicken shops.
Similarly, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) of the Mandya unit also gave a memorandum to the local Tahsildar some days ago saying that except Hindus, no one else outside temples should be allowed to function during fairs and religious festivals.
Reacting to all of these hate crimes, BS Bommai, chief minister of Karnataka said “Many outfits will be banning something or the other. So, we know what to respond to and what to not respond to. Where there is no need for attention, we won’t pay attention”. BJP national general secretary C T Ravi even linked Halal food with “economic jihad”.
Former Chief Minister and JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy denounced such trends and asked Hindu youths not to “spoil” the state. “I want to ask the government where you want to lead this state to. With folded hands I ask Hindu youths not to spoil the State,” he said, according to meda reports.