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Biryani seller forced to close shop on Diwali in Delhi, police file FIR

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

New Delhi: A Muslim man who ran a biryani shop in Delhi’s Sant Nagar area was forced to shut down on Diwali evening on Thursday after he was threatened by a person claiming to be a member of Hindutva organisation Rashtriya Bajrang Dal; “It will catch fire…” the man warns.

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Delhi Police has begun an inquiry after the video was widely shared on social media, but the accused has still not been identified or arrested. A case under IPC Section 295A (‘deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings by insulting religion or religious beliefs’) has been filed.

“No PCR call or complaint has been received at the Burari Police Station as of now… however, facts are being verified and legal action will be taken as per the law,” DCP (North), Sagar Singh Kalsi, said.

In the nearly three-minute long video the man (never seen on camera) first refers to the restaurant – located on a busy street – saying “is this a Muslim area? Look at them sitting there.”

According to news agency PTI, the man is Naresh Kumar Suryavanshi and identifies himself as a member of the right-wing group Bajrang Dal.

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He approaches the biryani sellers, sitting quietly inside and waiting for customers, and starts shouting and abusing them, declaring that this is a “Hindu area” and demanding they close down.

“Hey… how have you opened your shop? Who gave you permission? Don’t you know this is a Hindu area? Today is Diwali… close it down now. What is this… you think this is ‘your’ area… is this Jama Masjid? This is a fully ‘Hindu’ area,” he shouts.

The restaurant staff appear shocked, scared, and unable to respond to the stream of abuse. When one of them manages to say something, they try and defuse the situation by wishing their attacker for Diwali, but he brushes it off and asks: “Aren’t you afraid?”

By this time the shell-shocked staff have begun moving chairs, tables and utensils inside the store and are preparing to shut it down, while the man shouts at them saying “this is a Hindu area”.

He then turns to the gathered crowd and addresses them: “Wake up… these people are all doing ‘love jihad’ here with our sisters… to trap them.”

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