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3 Arrested In Bengaluru Shopkeeper Assault

On Sunday, tension gripped Siddanna Layout in Bengaluru as a shopkeeper found himself amid a violent altercation. According to reports, the shopkeeper, whose identity remains undisclosed, faced an onslaught after playing Hanuman Chalisa during the ‘Azaan’ time. Shocking footage circulated on social media platforms depicted a heated confrontation escalating into physical violence involving the shopkeeper and a group of young individuals.

The Halasuru Gate police swiftly intervened, arresting three suspects identified as Suleman, Shah Nawaz, and Rohit, aged between 20 and 25, following allegations of assaulting the shopkeeper over loud music in Central Bengaluru. The incident reportedly transpired at an electronics store in Siddannagalli on Sunday evening, where a dispute over loud music escalated into a violent clash between six individuals, including the shopkeeper and the suspects.

Unverified CCTV footage captured the chaotic scene, showing punches exchanged amidst the chaos. Consequently, a First Information Report (FIR) was lodged at the Halasuru Gate police station against the suspects above, along with Dyanish, Taruna, and others, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including charges of criminal intimidation, assault, and attempt to murder.

While social media buzzed with claims linking the assault to the playing of Hanuman Chalisa during the ‘Azaan,’ investigations by authorities revealed insufficient evidence to substantiate these allegations. The FIR itself did not mention any such provocation.

Amidst the turmoil, the incident drew sharp political reactions, notably from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which swiftly criticized the Siddaramaiah-led Karnataka government, accusing it of fostering an environment of religious intolerance.

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Senior BJP figures, including Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly R Ashoka and Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya, condemned the attack, attributing it to what they termed as Congress’ policy of appeasement towards specific communities. They questioned the state’s handling of the situation and demanded accountability from the government to ensure justice for the victim and swift action against the perpetrators.

BJP leader PC Mohan also weighed in, describing the incident as a stark manifestation of what he labeled the Congress’ ‘Mohabbat Ki Dukaan’ strategy, implying preferential treatment towards particular groups.
In response, the ruling Congress government in Karnataka has yet to issue an official statement. However, the incident has sparked broader discussions surrounding communal harmony and the maintenance of law and order in Bengaluru, resonating beyond its immediate aftermath.

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