Lucknow: The police on Thursday arrested four people for their alleged involvement in the attack on two Kashmiri dry fruit vendors in Lucknow on Wednesday. The vendors, who were sitting on a busy road of Hasanganj, were abused, beaten with sticks and slapped for their identity, by a group of men belonging to a fringe right-wing group.
The police swung into action immediately after one of the men had shared a video of the assault on social media. Addressing the media, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Lucknow, Kalanidhi Naithani said, “Some anti-social elements assaulted Kashmiri youths at Daliganj Bridge under Hasanganj on Wednesday evening. We rescued one Kashmiri youth, but the other person ran away, as he was terrified.”
He added that the viral video of the incident helped in the identification of the culprits.
The victims said the attackers suddenly descended on them and started beating them. “They called us terrorists. We have been coming for 20 years. Something like this has never happened with us before," one of the dry fruit sellers told reporters.
"They said we are terrorists. We were told that we sell items here and throw stones there. They started thrashing us. They asked for our Aadhaar cards," he added.
While one of the accused, Bajrang Sonkar, was arrested late on Wednesday night, Himanshu Garg, Anirudh Kumar and Amar Mishra were nabbed on Thursday, the police said.
All of them have been booked under sections 153A, 307 (attempt to murder) and 7CLA Act of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). They had reportedly formed a local trust under the name of ‘Vishwa Hindu Dal’, which is headed by Ambuj Nigam.
35-year-old Sonkar has a criminal background, with more than a dozen cases pending against him, the police said. “We want to give out a strict message and such incidents in the name of religion, caste or origin will not be tolerated at any cost,” the SSP added.
The attack comes amid reports of Kashmiris facing harassment and social boycott in different parts of the country after the Pulwama terror attack last month.