New Delhi: Bajrang Dal workers on the evening of December 23 allegedly closed down the shop of a Muslim man in Moradabad district of Uttar Pradesh, creating a ruckus and raising slogans of ‘Har Har Mahadev’ and ‘Jai Shree Ram’, News18 reported.
A video from the site of the juice shop was also tweeted by Times of India journalist Kanwardeep Singh.
According to the report, a Muslim man, Shabu Khan, had been running the juice centre for 10-12 year. The shop was named ‘New Sai Juice Center’. Khan told the news outlet that this was a case where he has been forced to close shop as he is a Muslim.
Navneet Sharma, a Bajrang Dal worker who came to close the shop, told News18 that the Muslim shopkeeper was running a juice center in a Hindu area and in the name of a Hindu to “deceive people.”
He also alleged that a man named Salman, an erstwhile employee of the same shop, is now in jail under the POCSO Act for molesting a Hindu girl two months ago. The Wire has not been able to verify if this is true.
He further alleged that “love jihad” is being carried out in Hindu areas under the guise of a juice centre. “Love jihad” is a term popularised by rightwing Hindutva groups and now given legal credence in several BJP-ruled states. It points to the imagined conspiracy of Muslim men converting Hindu women through marriage.
Bajrang Dal workers allegedly led a campaign claiming that Muslim-owned shops there were being run only after having changed their names into “Hindu” sounding ones.
They allegedly threatened the rest of the Muslim shopkeepers with a wider movement if they do not close their shops.
The Moradabad Police on Friday registered a case against the incident at Majhola police station under “relevant sections” and said that “other legal proceedings are in force”.
However, the police’s tweet does not indicate against whom the case has been registered and who is named in the FIR.