The Tribune – Radicals storm Pakistani stall at trade fair

Probe on, suspects being identified from CCTV camera footage, say police

Neeraj Bagga, Tribune News Service

Amritsar, 10 December 2016. A group of people belonging to a radical Hindu group today stormed a Pakistani stall and tore a flex board having the Pakistani flag at the ongoing five-day Punjab International Trade Expo (PITEX) here.

P Khanna, an exhibitor from Delhi, lodged a complaint with the Amritsar Police Commissionerate. He alleged that the police present at the venue did not intervene to protect the Pakistani nationals present at the venue.

Khanna, who converted to Islam after marrying a Pakistani national Hina Anjum in 2011, said a group of people raising slogans menacingly approached their food stall that was serving Pakistani delicacies under the brand name ‘Zaika’.

“Sensing trouble, we immediately started removing our display items to prevent losses,” he said. He added that activists of the radical outfit had visited the stall yesterday also.

He said he would lodge a complaint with the Ministry of Home Affairs as to why permission was granted to Pakistani traders when foolproof security could not be provided.

Visiting India under a SAARC visa, Hina Anjum, who was also present at the venue, said she was alarmed at seeing a group of fundamentalists forcing their way into a well-guarded venue. She thanked the Almighty that nobody was injured in the mayhem.

She said, “I will lodge a complaint with the Pakistan Embassy at New Delhi over being attacked and humiliated at the exhibition.”

Assistant Commissioner of Police (Amritsar North) Dr B K Singla said that his department had received the complaint and an investigation was under way. The identity of the suspects was being ascertained using CCTV cameras. He assured that an FIR would be registered and security would be enhanced at the venue.

Dr Praveen Rathee, Regional Director of the PHD Chamber that is organising the PITEX with the assistance of the state government, said the incident was immediately reported to the police. He added that senior police officials visited the venue, interacted with foreign exhibitors and assured them of security.


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