A group of Hindu fruit sellers in Jamshedpur were booked by the city police today for writing ‘Hindu’ on their shops. The fruit-sellers had written “Vishwa Hindu Parishad ki anumodit Hindu fal Dukan” which translates to “Hindu fruit shop approved by Vishwa Hindu Parishad”.
In addition, the banners of the shop also carried the photos of Hindus deities- Lord Shiva and Lord Rama along with the phone numbers of the shop owners.
However, wearing one’s identity on their sleeves did not sit well with the Jamshedpur police which acted on a complaint raised by one Twitter user, Ahsan Razi, about the overt manifestation of religion by the shop owners. The police reached the spot and got the banners removed.
मामले का तत्काल संज्ञान लेते हुए संबंधित फल दुकानों से पोस्टर हटवा दिया गया है तथा संबंधित दुकानदारों के विरुद्ध कदमा थाना द्वारा धारा – 107 द0प्र0स0 के तहत निरोधात्मक कार्रवाई की जा रही है। pic.twitter.com/AXGXNmaPWW— Jamshedpur Police (@Jsr_police) April 25, 2020
The Jamshedpur Police took to Twitter to inform about the developments made in the case. Taking cognisance of objection raised by a Twitter user, Jamshedpur police removed the banners put up by the fruit-sellers and has initiated punitive action against them. The concerned fruit-sellers have been charged under Section 107D of the Indian Penal Code. This section deals with action against persons who are “likely to commit a breach of the peace or disturb the public tranquillity or to do any wrongful act that may probably occasion a breach of the peace or disturb the public tranquillity”.
According to a report published in Swarajya Magazine, the police officials came to their stall at 11 am in the morning and were enquiring about where did the fruit-sellers get the banners from. They also threatened them to lodge a case against them and lock them up in jail. However, they subsequently cooled down and asked the shopkeepers from not repeating the mistake again, the report said.
However, soon after Jamshedpur police posted on Twitter that the banners were removed and action has been initiated against the fruit-sellers, several Twitter users shared photos of Muslim shops and establishments that proudly boasted about their religion, seeking action against them. Some of the netizens even questioned as to under which law the posters were removed from the aforesaid Hindu fruit-stalls.
One Twitter user, shared a picture of one ‘Noushad Muslim hotel’ in Jharkhand, asking the Jamshedpur police to act in the same manner as they did against the fruit seller. He also added that there are 2 hotels named ‘Kolkata Muslim hotel’ against whom police action should be taken by the same token.
महोदय “इरबा”झारखण्ड में एक नौशाद मुस्लिम होटल है, कलकत्ता मुस्लिम होटल नाम से दो होटल है , आशा करता हु उनके ऊपर कार्यवाही हो और लोगो को अवगत कराया जाये..— Snow Leopard 🐆🥳🇮🇳🧗🏿 (@TrekkingFreak) April 25, 2020
क्योकि ये दोहरा Secularism नहीं चलेगा.
ये रहा निचे address pic.twitter.com/XnnCjfwVZw
Others too shared pictures of restaurants and hotels that had conspicuously reveled in providing “Muslim” or “Islamic” food on its banners and posters.
Hatwa dum hai to Kar case in par pic.twitter.com/nQSNSdfYDW— karan (@karanboss11) April 25, 2020
अगर @Jsr_police की दलील सही है तो @DelhiPolice और @gurgaonpolice तत्काल इन दोनों दुकानों को बंद करा इन पर मुक़दमा पंजीकृत करें। अपनी दुकान पर अपना धर्म लिखना अगर ग़ैर-क़ानूनी है @HemantSorenJMM जी तो फिर अन्य राज्य भी इसका पालन करें। pic.twitter.com/cJMn1pBEP9— AlkaSingh (@ThAlkaSingh) April 25, 2020
Many users also pointed out how there has been no action taken against organisations that manufacture and sell food items with a halal certificate. Halal is an explicit religiously discriminatory practice, akin to untouchability, which certifies that a product has been produced as per producers and using ingredients allowed under Islam.
Arun Pudur, one of the young Indian entrepreneurs, highlighted how it is a matter of shame that hatred for Hindus in India is increasing. Sharing a picture of the halal certificate that is often printed on food edibles and drinking water, he questioned why authorities have not taken action against the organisations that force the buyers to conform to Islamic dietary decree.
It’s a matter of great shame to our state that we are going up in such Hindu hatred.— Arun Pudur (@arunpudur) April 25, 2020
Now instead of Jharkhand Govt. or state authorities these people will give permission to businesses.
I see this sticker in my food packets, restaurants even in water bottles. Take action pic.twitter.com/6xRBCTw5N2
It’s secularism 😠 pic.twitter.com/hvU1QuAKK6— R O H A N 🦁 (@iam_shimorekato) April 25, 2020
So what is that… Very shameful act done by you….its was freedom of religion. pic.twitter.com/XVZoZV96Dx— Adv. Ramesh Kumar (@rameshzy) April 25, 2020
Advocate Ishkaran Singh Bhandari tweeted that if the fruit sellers want legal help, they can send the Jharkhand Police notice to him, and he will legally reply to it. He asserted that the shop owner didn’t violate any law.
As many Twitter users have pointed out, there are many shops, mainly eateries, which mention names of religions. In every city and town in the country such shops can be seen. There are many eateries saying they are Muslim Hotel, Jain Hotel etc, and nobody objects to such nomenclature. But it is a surprise the Jharkhand police had a problem with the word Hindu at a shop. Such labels help in customers find shops compatible to their faith. Such names also people in avoiding shops, such as Hindus generally avoid shops indicating that they are for Muslims, as such eateries may serve beef.