PATNA: At least 40 running eight shops at on wrapped their business on Saturday after around 30 unidentified youths armed with sticks and rods attacked them inside the market on Friday afternoon threatening them to leave immediately after Thursday’s on CRPF convoy killing 40 personnel.
Several police personnel were deployed after the incident for security of the shopkeepers.
At least four shopkeepers were injured after being thrashed by goons. One of the shopkeeper received serious injuries but was out of danger. There were at least eight shops being run by these Kashmiris presently at Kashmiri Bazaar.
Soon after the incident, police were deployed at the Kashmiri Bazaar to avoid any untoward incident.
Bashir Ahmed Wani, head of the shopkeepers, told TOI over phone on Saturday that they were from Anantnag district in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and it was for the first time they faced such a situation in last 35 years.
“Now we are planning to return as the shopkeepers are in fear after Friday’s attack and they dont want to open shops anymore for business,” he said.
Wani said the attackers threatened them that they were pelting stone on security personnel in Kashmir and killing them while on other hand were doing business in Patna.
“At least 30 to 40 bike borne youths armed with bamboo sticks and other blunt objects barged inside the market and started attacking us. They injured at least three of us including Mazid. The attackers abused us and threatened us to leave immediately,” Wani said.
“Apart from 40 of us at the market, around 50 more Kashmiris are residing at Patna who sell carpets and other items in different areas on rickshaw,” he said.
He said that they were coming to Patna since last 35 years continuously and stay for six months’ period during which they sell woollen cloths, shawls, blankets and jackets.
“While, abusing us, they asked to return. They forcibly asked us to chant ‘Jai Shree Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ while hurling non-stop abuses on us,” Wani said.
He said that when they all tried to pacify the youths by asking them that what their fault was, they threatened us to burn alive.
“They not only thrashed us also damaged our products kept at shops for sale after throwing them on floor,” he said adding all goons fled soon after the incident.
He said that they stay in Patna till mid-March every year but this time, they are now prepared to leave soon looking at the situation.
City SP (central) D Amarkesh said an FIR against unknown persons was lodged with Kotwali police station in connection with the incident. “Investigation were on to ascertain identity of youths and arrest them,” he added.