Bengaluru: The brother of one of the petitioners in the hijab row was allegedly assaulted Monday night by a mob at a hotel owned by their father.
The mob, allegedly comprising members of Hindutva outfits, vandalised the hotel. The Udupi police have registered an FIR but not made any arrests thus far.
“An FIR has been filed under charges of rioting and causing voluntary hurt, but no arrests have been made so far. The complainant has alleged that he was slapped by members of the mob, who also vandalised their hotel,” Udupi Superintendent of Police (SP) N. Vishnuvardhan told ThePrint.
In his complaint to the Udupi police, accessed by ThePrint, the complainant, Saif — who has been hospitalised — said a mob of about 50-100 people arrived at his father’s hotel to intimidate them, and then assaulted him.
Saif is the brother of Shifa, one of the students of Udupi Women’s Pre-University College who has approached the Karnataka High Court demanding that hijabs be allowed in classes.
Shifa has alleged that the mob included members of the “Sangh Parivar”, an allegation reiterated by the Campus Front of India (CFI), the students’ wing of the Islamic organisation Popular Front of India (PFI).
The Udupi police said no one has been named in the FIR yet.
According to Saif’s complaint, the mob arrived at the hotel owned by Hyder Ali, Shifa and Saif’s father, in Malpe Monday night. They kicked up a row over comments made by Hyder Ali on the hijab row, claimed Saif.
A few members of the mob, Saif alleged, assaulted him and vandalised the hotel. “When our officials arrived, some 20 people were at the spot. The crowd was soon dispersed. We are in the process of collecting CCTV footage from cameras nearby to assist in the investigation. Action will follow,” said SP Vishnuvardhan.
Shifa took to her social media page Monday night to allege that the mob had “brutally attacked” her brother, and insisted that this was in retaliation for her fight to wear a hijab in class.
My brother was brutally attacked by a mob. Just because I continue to stand for My #Hijab which is MY RIGHT. Our property were ruined as well. Why?? Can't I demand my right? Who will be their next victim? I demand action to be taken against the Sangh Parivar goons. @UdupiPolice
— Hazra Shifa (@hazra_shifa) February 21, 2022
A host of members of the CFI, too, demanded action against the mob. They claimed that Saif was admitted to a hospital in Udupi Monday night for tests, and that it was concluded that he had sustained internal injuries.
Father’s comments allegedly enraged mob
Masood Manna, a district committee member of the CFI, told ThePrint that a “sting operation” by a Kannada news channel, which purportedly recorded Hyder Ali saying that both hijabs and saffron scarves should be allowed in schools, had irked the mob.
“In my opinion, the government should just let children wear hijabs and saffron scarves. The hijab is intrinsic to Islam and our children have been wearing it forever. Let us also see how long the others will wear saffron scarves,” Hyder Ali had purportedly said.
“The channel violated the family’s privacy, pretended to be from NGOs etc, and recorded conversations on hidden cameras,” Manna told ThePrint
Police sources in Udupi also said that Hyder Ali’s purported statement had enraged the mob.
Aliya Assadi, another petitioner and student of Udupi Women’s PU College, had lashed out Sunday at a Kannada news channel, alleging that they had forcefully entered her house with hidden cameras and harassed her.
"NIJATA", "PRIVACY","ಗೌಪ್ಯತೆ" These are the words to be remembered who has media ethics. But what I'm seeing today is that most of them have forgotten the media ethics. @AsianetNewsSN has just crossed it's limits by entering my home forcefully to harass with hidden cameras
— Aliya Assadi🌿 (@Aliyassadi) February 20, 2022
(Edited by Rohan Manoj)
Also read: Amidst ongoing Hijab row, ‘murder’ of Bajrang Dal activist creates further tension in Karnataka