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‘Was playing Bhajans softly as it was time for our evening puja; they came and beat him up’: father of Bengaluru Hindu shop owner demands strict action

Notably, Halasuru Gate Police Station in charge, while speaking to OpIndia had denied any communal angle in the matter.

Mukesh, the owner of a Hindu store in Bengaluru, Karnataka, was beaten up for playing the Hanuman Chalisa in his shop. The incident occurred on Jumma Masjid Road in the Siddanna Galli area on Sunday, March 17. Mukesh’s father, speaking to the media lamented that his son was brutally assaulted for simply playing Hanuman bhajans inside his own store.

He said that Mukesh, his elder son was playing the Bhajans softly inside the shop, yet he was thrashed by the Muslim youths. “When I reached, I saw Mukesh soaked in blood,” Gopal Singh told the media while demanding strict action against the perpetrators.

“I was not present here but my son told me that he was playing devotional songs at that time. In the evening we do puja, so obviously, he must have played bhajans only. I learnt that they came to fight with him. The sound was low only, however, they beat him up. We want justice…,” said Gopal Singh, father of Mukesh, who fell victim to an attack by a group of Islamists for upholding his religious convictions.

Meanwhile, the Bengaluru Hindu shop owner Mukesh also told the media how a group of local Muslims in the area attacked him and threatened to kill him if he failed to comply with their demands to stop playing Hindu devotional songs.

The Hindu shop owner, who spoke with ANI about what transpired, said that on Sunday, March 17, at around six o’clock in the evening, three or four local Muslims approached him and asked him to stop playing Hanuman bhajans inside the shop. When Mukesh refused to comply with their demands and inquired what the issues they were having, the Muslims said that it was time for their Azaan.

Mukesh added that he attempted to persuade them that there was still time for Azaan, but they refused to hear him and grabbed him by the neck. When Mukesh stepped out of his shop to confront them, the accused started beating him up and threatened to stab him with a knife, he said.

Mukesh responded in the positive when asked if he would be able to identify the accused. He said they were Muslim youths from the area.

Bengaluru Hindu shop-owner attacked for playing Hanuman Chalisa near mosque, police deny communal angle

Notably, Halasuru Gate Police Station in charge in Bengaluru, Karnataka, while speaking to OpIndia had denied any communal angle in the matter. “The FIR has been registered, and three people have been arrested. Three main accused were arrested yesterday night and an FIR has been registered. Enquiry is going on. Suleiman, Shahnawaz and Rohit are the main accused. There is no communal angle. It was about playing a song near the masjid. They [the accused] were telling the complainant to lower the volume of the speakers. There was an altercation over this,” the Halasuru Gate Police Station incharge said.

When OpIndia asked about the alleged reluctance to register an FIR in the matter, the officer said, “No, we had immediately done an FIR, took action and conducted searches…but some people diverted the matter saying it was a Hindu-Muslim fight.”

Earlier it was reported that the Hindu victim submitted a complaint at Halasuru Gate Police Station in Bengaluru demanding that an FIR be registered. However, it was claimed that the police were reluctant to register an FIR against the accused. Following this, a large group of local traders gathered outside the police station and pressured the authorities to register an FIR. Subsequently, the police lodged an FIR and initiated an investigation.

Incidentally, CCTV footage of the incident went viral in which the 5 to 6 accused could be seen coming to the victim’s shop on Sunday evening.

Initially, a verbal argument ensues as seen in the video. The argument soon escalated to assault as the accused youths dragged the Hindu victim out of his shop and thrashed him. The footage shows the victim singlehandedly confronting the attackers. However, he was seen getting knocked to the ground.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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