UP: Kashmiri Vendors Resume Work In Lucknow Two Days After Attack; Business Flourishes

The Logical Indian Crew Uttar Pradesh

March 11th, 2019 / 3:06 PM

Kashmiri Vendors Business Blooms

Image Credit: NDTV

A group of men from a fringe right-wing group attacked and beat up two Kashmiri dry fruit vendors on a busy road in Lucknow yesterday, March 6. A video of the assault was shared by one of the men. The incident took place in Central Lucknow’s Daliganj at around 5 PM.

However, two days after the incident, the two Kashmiri vendors, 35-year-old Abdul Salam Naik and 40-year-old Afzal Naik, were back on Daliganj bridge in old Lucknow’s Hasanganj area, selling dry fruits for a living, occupying the same spot where they had been attacked. As soon as locals identified them, they gathered to ask about their well-being, reported Hindustan Times.

Business flourishes for duo

“There was a better response today when we re-occupied our spot to sell dry fruits after the Wednesday incident,” both of them unanimously said. Both of them are from Kulgam district’s Hajipura area of South Kashmir. For years, every winter for four months these two vendors visit Lucknow. Ever since they came back to work after the attack, their business has been blooming. Earlier, Abdul Salam Naik used to sell dry fruits every day worth ₹ 4,000 to 6,000 between 10 am and 6 pm. However, the day he came back to work after the attack, he sold the same amount within only four-five hours. By the end of the day, they sold products worth Rs 25,000, reported The Times Of India. Although he was initially afraid to resume business, his approach was changed by local police and administration’s response.

For the last 20 years, Afzal Naik has also been visiting Lucknow to sell dry fruits during winter. He termed the unfortunate attack as a stray incident and said that such an incident has never taken place in the past. He further said that for a long time he has been getting a very good response from the people of Lucknow. This incident, he said, has not shaken his confidence and he would keep visiting Lucknow every winter.

“We have to fight terrorism with the mantra of unity”

The two vendors were called by All India Democratic Women Association to their programme at International Buddha Centre auditorium, where they were encouraged by several women activists to visit Lucknow again. They also bought dry fruits from them.

As a goodwill gesture and build confidence, Abdul Salam Naik was given a compensation of Rs 20,000 cash for his loss by Lucknow district magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kanpur stressed on the importance of maintaining harmony and warned those who have been targetting Kahmiris ever since the Pulwama attack took place. Further, the state governments were urged by him to act tough if such incidents occur.

“I congratulate the Yogi government for taking immediate action against those who targeted Kashmiris in Lucknow. I urge other state governments to take strict action against those who try to indulge in such acts. We have to fight terrorism with the mantra of unity,” he said.

Previously, the videos

In the videos by Prashant Kumar‏, the men can be heard saying that they are doing it because the vendors are Kashmiris. Two men can be seen in saffron kurtas beating up Kashmiri men sitting on the road selling dry fruits. One of the men can be seen using a wooden stick to thrash the men, and one of the victims is covering his head and requesting the attackers to stop assaulting him.

A second video shows the saffron-clad men asking the second vendor to show him his identity card as he is trying to pack his things up and leave. However, locals were quick to come to the rescue and one of them can be heard telling the attackers to call the police instead of taking law into their own hands. These men from Kashmir have been selling dry fruits in Lucknow for several years now, reported NDTV.

Case of rioting and breach of peace registered

One Bajrang Sonkar was been arrested and a case of rioting and breach of peace has been registered. However, the main accused, Amar Mishra, has not been arrested. He claims that he is the president of the Vishwa Hindu Dal, and has been posting on Facebook claiming that he and his men had carried out the assault. His Facebook profile information states that he works with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The video that was shared on Facebook has now been taken down.

“This is a very unfortunate and one-off incident which has happened. We will crackdown on such incidents with the entire force of the law. Nobody is above the law and nobody can target innocent citizens like this….The strongest possible action will be taken to target innocent Kashmiris,” Uttar Pradesh Director General (Law and Order) Anand Kumar said.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, and parties like the Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party and Asaduddin Owaisi condemned the attack.

The Logical Indian take

Ever since the Pulwama terror attack claimed the lives of 40 CRPF jawans, Kashmiris across the country are constantly being attacked. In two incidents in West Bengal, Kashmiri shawl sellers from the Budgam district of Kashmir had to face assault at the hands of locals. Hundreds of Kashmiri students had to face harassment at the hands of mobs.

The two Kashmiri vendors were doing nothing more than sitting on the road, trying to earn a livelihood. Maybe they have their parents, wives and children waiting for them back at home, only to hear the news or see the videos of their loved ones being thrashed.

The central government had in fact been promoted to issue an advisory to the states to ensure the safety of Kashmiris due to the alleged harassment they have been facing ever since the Pulwama attack.

One positive aspect of the entire outrageous incident is that the locals came up to help the victims. While on several occasions people have been assaulted and killed in broad daylight, these locals proved that humanity still exists.

If people have made up their minds not to be rational, these atrocities are hard to be stopped. The Logical Indian urges authorities to take strict action against the accused.

Also Read: [Video] 26-Yr-Old Kashmiri Shawl Seller Thrashed In Bengal After Pulwama Attack


Written by : Sumanti Sen

Edited by : Poorbita Bagchi

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