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Communalism

Hindutva Vigilantes 'Force' Eatery Run by Muslim to Close on Diwali in Delhi's Sant Nagar

"Beware if you open your shops on Hindu festivals,” a man can be heard saying in a video of the incident.

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New Delhi: On November 4, members of right-wing Hindutva outfits led by one Naresh Kumar Suryawanshi forced entry into a non-veg eatery in Delhi’s Sant Nagar, owned by a Muslim man named Mahbub Alam. They accused Alam, as a Muslim, of selling meat to outrage the sentiments of Hindus.

In a two minute 20 second video of the incident, the Hindutva vigilantes can be seen abusing the Muslim men and forcing them to shut the shop. One man even threatens the Muslims workers that he will burn down the shop if they do business on Hindu festivals.

“Is this Jama Masjid? Who told you to open your shop on Diwali? No brothers stops these **** ***(slurs)? This is a Hindu area. They (Muslims) are running their shops here. (Sic.) Are you here to pollute our faith today? Should I slaughter pigs outside your mosque on Eid? How dare you, **** (slurs) Mullahs? I will set this on fire,” the man threatened. A voice in the background warns, “Do minute mein bawal ho jayega yahan (In two minutes, there will be chaos here).”

“Brothers wake up I am telling you again. They trap Hindu women, our daughters and sisters, using names like Rahul and Aman. They commit ‘Love jihad’. Beware if you open your shops on Hindu festivals,” he added.

The Wire reached out to Alam, the owner of Alam Muradabadi Biryani in Sant Kabir Nagar. “At around 7:30 pm, this man came to our shop. He threatened violence and used anti-Muslim slurs. However, his clipped video only shows him shutting down the shops. Two women customers stood up for us and the man had to flee. Also, locals and Pandit ji spoke up in our favour. SHO sahab came with his team and he was with us. But I don’t want to file a case and get into all this.”

The Wire tried to contact the SHO for comment. This story will be updated when he responds.

A video of the incident went viral on social media and multiple users demanded the Delhi Police take action against the group.

In the recent months, The Wire has documented multiple incidents of vigilantes shutting down shops of Muslims on Hindu festivals through threats and force. In August, a large mob of Hindutva leaders had called for the total boycott of businesses run by Muslims, in addition to inciting violence. The large rally led to huge backlash by citizens, forcing the police to arrest the key accused at the event.

In October, the Times of India had reported that several outfits under the banner of the Samyukta Hindu Sangharsh Samiti had written to the deputy commissioner to shut down the 150 meat shops in Gurugram for the nine or 10 days of Navratri. The same outfit was responsible for the Govardhan Puja which took place at Gurugram on November 5, as a protest against Muslims conducting namaz in the area.

By October 8, members of the Bajrang Dal were seen in a viral video forcibly shutting down meat shops in Faridabad, citing Navratri as the cause. Meat shops were also shut in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh and in other cities in the state.

Earlier this year, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath imposed a complete ban on the sale of liquor and meat in Mathura. In 2017, Adityanath had already banned the sale of meat and alcohol in the Vrindavan and Barsana areas, which were declared pilgrimage sites.