Two Kashmiri traders assaulted on busy Lucknow street; one accused arrested

Two dry fruit vendors from Kashmir were assaulted by a group of men belonging to a right-wing group in Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow on Wednesday, a media report said today.

The duo were sitting on a busy road when they were attacked by the goons, who shared the video of the assault on social media.

The incident took place at around 5 pm yesterday in Daliganj in central Lucknow. The men who assaulted the traders can be heard in widely-circulated videos saying that are doing it because they are from Kashmir, NDTV reported.

Two men in saffron kurtas can be seen thrashing the duo who were sitting on the road with their dry fruits spread out on a sheet, the video footage showed.

One of the attackers beat the men with a wooden stick. In one of the videos, one of the Kashmiri men is seen covering his head and pleading the attackers to stop beating him, said the report.

Another video shows the saffron-clad men asking the second dry fruit seller for his identify card as he tried to pack up and leave the spot. 

The report said that several local residents of Lucknow intervened and asked the men to stop further assault of the two vendors. “Don’t take law into your own hands. Call the police,” one the locals can be seen saying.

A case of rioting and breach of peace has been registered and one person, Bajrang Sonkar, has been arrested, the police said, according to NDTV.

It said the main accused, who claims to be the president of the Vishwa Hindu Dal, has not been arrested and has been posting on Facebook, claiming that it was he and his men who carried out the attack. The video of the attack that he shared on Facebook has 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 told NDTV.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter and wrote: “Dear PM @narendramodi Sahib, this is what you had spoken against & yet it continues unabated. This is the state governed by your handpicked Chief Minister. Can we expect action in this case or do we file your concern & assurances as a jumla, meant to placate but nothing more? (sic)”


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