PATNA: An FIR has been lodged against unknown men who vandalised a few shops belonging to Kashmiri Muslims selling woolen garments in Patna and allegedly beat them up a day after 40 CRPF men were killed in the Pulwama terror attack.
“It was a minor incident carried out by a few youths in an apparently retaliatory act. We have lodged an FIR on the basis of statements given by the shopkeepers. Efforts are being made to identify and arrest the accused,” said DSP (law and order) Rajesh Kumar.
Video clips of the vandalism at the shops of some Kashmiri Muslims at Lhasa Market in Patna on Friday were widely circulated on the social media.
The perpetrators were seen pulling down the makeshift shops and blaming the Kashmir residents for the terrorist attack. The youths on the rampage, who allegedly belonged to a right-wing organisation, also allegedly asked all Kashmiri Muslims to leave Patna within ten days.
Although the DSP said no Kashmiri shopkeeper was injured in the attack, Washir Ahmed, the coordinator of Kashmir Bazaar in Patna, said at least three Kashmiri shopkeepers were seriously injured and sought treatment at the New Gardiner Hospital.
About a dozen policemen were deployed at the market an hour after the attack. Shops of the Kashmiri Muslims are now back to normal business activities, though footfalls of customers remained low. This market has been in operation every winter for about 30 years, beginning soon after Deepawali and ending in the last week of February.
Police sources said efforts are on to identify the culprits by examining the video clips of the incident. No arrests were made in the case till Monday evening.