A local Bajrang Dal leader filed an FIR with serious charges against a Muslim shopkeeper in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr for selling ‘thakur’ brand shoes on Tuesday, 5 January.
Vishal Chauhan, district coordinator of Bajrang Dal, told The Quint, “I was informed by one of our karyakartas that a Muslim shopkeeper Nasir was selling shoes with ‘thakur’ written underneath it in the local market of Gulaothi. When I went there to check, he showed us the shoes. We took him to the police station and now a probe has started to find the manufacturer of the shoe brand.”
An FIR with sections 153A (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 323 (for voluntarily causing hurt) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of the IPC were filed against the man and he was taken in police custody.
After a couple of people called out the UP police for detaining the Muslim shopkeeper despite him not manufacturing the shoes, the Bulandshahr Police wrote in a tweet that if they had not acted, “Some people would have reacted badly.”
On Wednesday, 6 January, Bulandshahr Police tweeted that after investigation, the man was released. They said the initial probe did not find any evidence of provocation to cause a riot so they have dropped Section 153A from the FIR.
A video accessed by The Quint shows Nasir asking a group of men, “Am I the manufacturer of these shoes?” Another man, who cannot be seen, is heard replying, “Then why are you selling them here?”
It is not clear which company manufactured the shoes with ‘thakur’ written on its sole. A shoe manufacturing company called the Thakur Footwear Company, based in Agra, was being named by social media users. But the owner of the company, Narender Trilokani, told The Quint, “We are a 40-year-old company. Our logo is TFC, we don’t use ‘thakur’ as our logo. So the shopkeeper in Bulandshahr was not selling shoes from our brand.”