A set of photos of Thushara Ajith, a restauranteur from Kochi, Kerala are being shared on social media with the claim that she was attacked by people from the Muslim community as she was trying to open an eatery that did not serve halal food.
However, the altercation did not take place due to religious reasons. As per news reports, the fight broke out over a civic dispute and none of the people involved in the brawl belonged to the Muslim community.
Photos of Thushara Ajith and the 'no halal' banner were shared across social media, with claims that she was attacked by people from the Muslim community as she did not serve food that is prepared the manner prescribed for those following Islam.
Supreme Court lawyer and BJP Uttar Pradesh's spokesperson Prashant Umrao tweeted the claim, alleging a brutal attack on the restauranteur by people from the Muslim community over her 'No Halal' board.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
Using keywords such as 'Thushara Ajith attacked', we came across news reports related to the claim being made.
A report by The News Minute stated that Thushara posted a series of videos on Facebook, where she alleged that she was attacked by 'jihadis' when she tried to open a new outlet of her eatery, as she had opened the first 'No Halal' eatery in Kochi earlier this year.
It further stated that the incident happened on 24 October and that it was a civil dispute over using commercial space, as per the police.
Mentioning the names of the accused – Nakul and Binoj – TNM noted that the complainant had not been attacked by Muslims, as she had claimed.
An article by The New Indian Express carried the full names of the other party involved in the conflict. This report noted that the clash took place over the eatery's ownership, adding that the local police station had called the communal allegations "fabricated".
It also said that Binoj was attacked by lethal weapons and had to undergo surgery.
In another report, the publication noted that Thushara, her husband Ajith and one accomplice had been arrested in an attempt to murder case on Tuesday, 2 November.
The Quint reached out to Circle Inspector Santosh TR, who confirmed to us that there was no religious reason behind the conflict.
A local reporter also told us that the matter was a civil dispute and that the shop that was allegedly attacked was not a functional outlet, but was a closed one.
Fact-checking website Alt News accessed a copy of the the FIRs registered by both parties in the issue.
The FIR filed by Thushara accuses Nakul and his friend of misbehaving and outraging Thushara's modesty, adding that her employee Appu attacked the friend (Binoj) in retaliation near their shop.
Acknowledging that the other party was injured, the FIR states that Thushara had made an attempt to take the injured person to a hospital before Nakul intervened.
On the other hand, a FIR filed by Binoj George at Sunrise Hospital, states that Thushara, who was accompanied by her husband Ajith and her employee, slapped him after he questioned them for removing a food cart from the area.
In this FIR, George states that he was attacked by Thushara's unnamed employee who was wielding a knife, leading to a deep injury and a broken bone on his left leg.
Both FIRs name people from the other party in the brawl, and show that the issue did not erupt over signage as claimed.
Evidently, an incident of a civil dispute in Kerala's Kochi where a restauranteur claimed to be attacked over 'No Halal' signage outside her restaurant was shared with a communal spin.