MORADABAD – A juice shop called ‘New Sai Juice Centre’, being run by a Muslim man for the past 15 years in the Majhola area of Moradabad district, was vandalised and forced to shut down after members of a right-wing outfit raised objection to the outlet’s name.
They claimed that “Sai Baba is a Hindu deity” and the Muslim owner should change its name.
They also allegedly threatened to shut all shops run by Muslims and named after Hindu deities in the locality.
The incident took place three days ago but the FIR was registered much later against Bajrang Dal leader Navneet Sharma, and his aides for “rioting and criminal intimidation”.
The FIR was registered after videos of the incident began circulating on social media.
The police, sources said, even advised the owner, Shabbu Khan, to change the shop’s name “to avoid further trouble.”
Locals in the area claimed that police initially remained a mute spectator while all this was going on and later advised Shabbu Khan, the juice shop owner, said, “I was about to have dinner at home on Thursday when I was shocked to learn that a few people were vandalising my shop. They asked me to close my shop because of my faith. This shop is part of my life and my family.”
Majhola Station house officer (SHO) Dhananjay Singh said, “We found that about 20-25 people, led by Navneet Sharma, had forcefully closed the juice shop. They also slapped its owner. We have registered an FIR under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 147 (rioting) against Sharma and his aides.”
Incidentally, a complaint was also lodged by the right-wing activists against Khan but police said the complaint against the shopkeeper is “not convincing enough as the man has been running the shop for 15 years and there has been no issue so far.”
No arrests have yet been made. -IANS
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