Riot breaks out in Karnataka after Muslim barber refuses to shut shop on Tuesday

A mob of Hindus, led by the Bajrang Dal went on a rampage in the village of Nelliyadi, 70 km from Mangalore in Karnataka after a Muslim barber refused to close his shop on Tuesdays.

Bajrang Dal leader Ravi Ballya said that the trouble started when the barber, Salman, refused to keep his shop shut on Tuesdays. “It is well-known that Hindus don’t cut their hair on Tuesdays. Salman was initially a nice boy. He used to respect our wishes and close his shop then. Later he started keeping his shop open.”

Uday Kumar, the leader of the barbers’ association, went to Salman’s shop and asked him to shut shop, but salman refuses to close the shop. What happened next was a spontaneous reaction from local.

According to the police, around 4 pm the Hindu mob first attacked Salman’s shop and other Muslim stores in Nelliyadi Jumma Masjid complex, destroying lakhs of rupees in property. Following this, a Muslim mob – led by the Popular Front of India, retaliated with attacks of their own and stone throwing.

Eventually after hours the police got the situation under control through lathi charges. The police have so far arrested nine men from both communities, and imposed curfew in the area.

The coastal region of Karnataka has witnessed at least 153 incidents of communal violence since January this year.