Kashmiris Attacked in Lucknow: Rahul and Jaitley Condemn Incident

The group of men who were arrested are associated with the little-known right wing outfit, Vishwa Hindu Dal.

Updated08 Mar 2019, 01:20 PM IST
2 min read

Days after videos of two Kashmiris selling dry fruit getting thrashed by a group of saffron-clad men in Daliganj locality in Lucknow went viral, Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to condemn the incident.

Gandhi also saluted the person who intervened the attack and stopped the attackers, saying he salutes such bravehearts of the nation.

A day earlier, Jaitley condemned the attack as well, saying “our fight is against the separatists and terrorists”, adding “we need the people of Jammu and Kashmir with us in the fight against terror”.

Five from Vishwa Hindu Dal Held

Five persons have been arrested on Thursday, 7 March, reported The Indian Express.

The group of men who were arrested are associated with the little-known right wing outfit, Vishwa Hindu Dal.

The accused have been identified as Bajrang Sonkar, Amar Mishra, Himanshu Awasthi and Anirudhh Kumar, along with the Dal’s president, Ambuj Nigam.

While an initial FIR was filed against the accused at Lucknow’s Hassanganj police station under IPC sections 147 (rioting), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), IPC sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc.) and 307 (attempt to murder), along with 7 CLA (Criminal Law Amendment) Act, were later added to it, the newspaper reported.

Sonkar has more than a dozen criminal cases, including that of murder, loot, theft and under the Arms Act pending, against him, PTI reported.

What Happened When they Were Attacked?

“The Kashmiri youths were selling dry fruit on Daliganj bridge and a group of men beat them up, terming them stone pelters,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kalanidhi Naithani told reporters.

The assault on the Kashmiri vendors, which was caught on camera, was strongly condemned by Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir.

Local people, however, rushed to their rescue and informed police, he said.

An "alert citizen" also made a video of the attack, following which police teams swung into action and arrested the main accused – Bajrang Sonkar. Later, based on a tip-off, the others were arrested, PTI said.

Abdul Salaam and Mohammed Afzal are from south Kashmir's Kulgam district and come in Lucknow during winters to sell dry fruit.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said the assault in Lucknow hurt the idea of India.

“Nothing will do more damage to the idea of India in J&K than videos like these. Keep thrashing Kashmiris like this on the streets at the hands of RSS/Bajrang Dal goons and then try to sell the idea of ‘atoot ang’ (integral part), it simply won’t fly,” he said.

PDP President Mehbooba Mufti accused the Centre of encouraging such people to polarise society.

“You humiliate & assault Kashmiris. Make them feel like criminals & that they dont belong to this country. Why are you surprised then when young pliable men are taken under the wings of terror groups & indoctrinated?” Mehbooba asserted.

The incident took place on 6 March evening, the latest in a series of cases in which Kashmiris across the country were targeted after the Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel.

(With inputs from PTI, The Indian Express)

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Published: 08 Mar 2019, 04:40 AM IST

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