BANGALURU — Karnataka Police on Tuesday arrested five Bajrang Dal activists – four men and a minor for attacking two elderly Muslim women on the excuse of cooking beef.
The elderly women used to run a food stall at the local village market in Karnataka.
The accused were identified as Karthik, 24, Deepu, 21, Prathap, 29, Raghu, 20 and the minor. Four of the arrested were sent to judicial custody whereas the minor was sent to the juvenile justice department.
Karthick is the president of Bajrang Dal’s local unit.
The Sakleshpur Town police station registered an FIR against the accused under sections 323, 506, 143, 147, 149, 354 of the IPC which include charges of voluntarily causing hurt, criminal intimidation, unlawful assembly, rioting, prosecution of a common objective and criminal force against a woman. Superintendent of Police AN Prakash Gowda said that no beef was recovered from the victims’ stall.
The incident happened in Karnataka’s Sakleshpur taluk on January 31, when some unknown miscreants attacked two elderly Muslim women alleging cooking and selling beef items at the stall.
The victims were identified as 70-year-old Khamrunissa and her 50-year-old sister-in-law Shamim.
The miscreants burnt down their small stall, overturned their utensils containing food and threw their stove and gas cylinder, during a weekly village fair. TheyThe Muslim women used to visit the fair regularly for the last 40 days to sell food items like idli, sambhar, chicken and mutton curries, parottas and chappatis.
“They came and started asking questions – what we sell, how long we have been setting up the stall at the fair, whether we were selling beef. We tried to tell them that we only prepared chicken and mutton items but they did not listen. They started destroying our stall. Kicking the vessels with food, overturning the stove and cylinder. Hot oil and food spilt on us. They grabbed my hands, and started pushing me around. They said, ‘If you try to sell beef here again, next time we will burn you alive,” Khamarunissa was quoted by The Quint as saying.
She added “We have lost thousands of rupees in damaged goods for no fault of ours. We thought it would be like any other day. We are scared, I am lucky to be alive but I cannot stop working out of fear. How will we live our lives then?”
She said that she lost Rs. 50,000 or 60,000 worth goods in the attack.