BUT FOR a local journalist who one of the chopsticks was swung on Monday afternoon landed, a scuffle against customers for chaat, on a crowded street with the fanciful name Atithi Bhawan, would hardly have caused a stir even in this city of the Uttar Pradesh – known more for the sweet smell of jaggery in its air from the many units that dot it.
In fact, both warring sides are now facing a bigger blow than that 45 second lathi swap and the long months of lockdown have inflicted them with eight under arrest and families unsure of how to do it. release. The charges against them include attempted murder.
There is little to say to Shiv Chaat Bhandar outside of Nav Durga Chaat Bhandar. While their names invoke gods, both appeared around the same time 15 years ago, and their prices and menus are almost the same – chaat, paani puri, matar palak ki pakiri and gulab jamun, from 20 rupees. per plate at 50 rupees. that’s where the problem lies. Witnesses say helpers from both stores were almost dragging potential customers into their own outlets when the brawl began.
A day later, the two stores are closed because two sub-inspectors and 10 gendarmes, deployed as a “precautionary measure”, keep watch in a disjointed manner in the deserted street.
Those arrested include Ram Kumar, owner of Shiv Chaat Bhandar, aka Pappu, and family members Shivaji, Anil, Dhaani, Harendra (with henna streaked hair sticking out of the blur) and Puranmaasi, Narendra and Vickky from Nav Durga. Vinay and Annu run away.
Present at the house of the owner of Shiv Chaat Bhandar Ram Kumar alias Pappu on Tuesday evening to console the family, Chandrama Prasad, who made a similar tour of the house of the owner of Nav Durga, said: “While all businesses have suffered With losses in the order of lakhs during the lockdown, the impact has been most severe for those selling food products. They earn daily sales… families were reduced to almost beggars. They were sort of recovering, but now this closure of the two stores has sounded the death knell. They are afraid of having to spend huge sums of money to get their fathers, uncles and sons out of prison.
Ram Kumar’s daughter, Rekha Kumari, said: “The brawl in the streets can make the country laugh, but all the male members of our family, my father, two uncles and my younger brother, are in prison.
The family who own Nav Durga Chaat Bhandar refused to speak.
Ajay Kumar Sharma, head of the Baraut Kotwali police station, said: “Five people, including a local journalist, were injured in the clash. Ten people have been registered for charges, including under IPC section 307 (attempted murder). We arrested eight while the hunt for the other two is underway.
Prabhat Kumar Jain, who owns a jewelry store just yards from chaat stores, says they were blown away by the free-for-all. “I was busy in my store when I suddenly heard a loud roar from outside. I sent my assistant to see what had happened and I was shocked when he said that everyone was hitting everyone, with batons, stones and iron bars. There was a rush. The clashing traders did not even spare those passing through, including a journalist working for a local Hindi daily.
Sharma said without this reporter the case would have died a death without social media. “The reporter was hit by an iron bar in his right hand and shot the video. The case even reached State Police Headquarters in Lucknow, who inquired about the incident.
Store owner Harshit Jain, whose “The Lovely Cosmetic” is located next to Nav Durga Chaat Bhandar, said, “It’s a very busy market. People shop and then go to restaurants. Dozens of them have emerged over the past 20 years. Monday’s incident was the first of its kind.
Baghpat SP Abhishek Singh promised traders “better police” to avoid such clashes. “We have deployed adequate police personnel and no one involved in the senseless confrontation will be spared,” he told The Indian Express.
This is what scares Rekha Kumari. “Neither we nor our business competitors are violent people. Everything that happened was on the spur of the moment, and it caused irreparable damage to both families.
Note: The content and images used in this article is rewritten and sourced from indianexpress.com