A day after two Kashmiri street vendors were thrashed by four persons belonging to saffron-clad in Lucknow, police have arrested the four accused involved in the assault, media reports claimed.
On Wednesday afternoon four unidentified men- who were later identified as part of the little known Hindu outfit (Saffron-brigade) thrashed two Kashmiris street vendors in Daliganj Bridge in Lucknow’s Hasanganj locality on Wednesday. The duo selling dry fruits was assaulted in a broad daylight.
The videos showing the two Kashmiris being abused, slapped and beaten had gone viral. In the video clips, when a passerby asks the assaulters why they were thrashing the two dry-fruit sellers, they say, “Because they are Kashmiris. They are the ones pelting stones in Kashmir.”
While one of the Kashmiri men is seen crying as he is being beaten with sticks, the other is seen being asked to produce his identity card after some locals came to the rescue and stopped the attackers from further thrashing.
One of the assaulters, Himanshu Awasthi, self-proclaimed “former BJP politician” and member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, posted videos and photos on his Facebook profile boasting about thrashing Kashmiris on the Daligunj Bridge in Lucknow. Another accused, Aniruddh Shyam, a member of Vishwa Hindu Dal, went live on Facebook with a video of them thrashing the Kashmiri men. The video has now been deleted from his profile, media reports claimed.
Lucknow Police later said in a tweet that a case has been registered against the accused and necessary action is being taken, the report mentioned.
Kashmiris across the country were threatened and attacked after the February 14, attack on CRPF convoy that claimed the life of 49 paramilitary troopers.
The four persons identified as Bajrang Sonkar, Amar Kumar, Anirudh Kumar, and Himanshu Garg — were arrested and four of them belong to Vishwa Hindu Dal, the report mentioned.
Lucknow’s senior police superintendent Kalanidhi Naithani told Hindustan Times that four persons were initially booked for rioting, voluntarily causing hurt and provoking breach of peace. He said later stringent charges related to promoting enmity on grounds of religion, caste, and region, attempt to murder were also slapped on them.
Naithani said some passerby filmed the attackers, which helped the police in tracing them. He added Sonkar faces 12 other criminal cases, including that of loot, theft, and murder.
Uttar Pradesh police’s director general (law and order), Anand Kumar, said the police would ensure the vendors get medical care and compensation for their losses. The two have been assured of security to carry out their business. Kumar called the attack unfortunate and added steps would be taken to ensure such incidents do not reoccur, Hindustan Times reported.
Abdul Salam Naik and Afzal Naik, who are from Kulgam in Kashmir, thanked the police for the action against the attackers. “We are happy that police have arrested the men who beat us up. We met… [Naithani] and he said the police are with us,” Salam said in a video the Lucknow police released on Thursday.