Gujarat: Saffron organizations force multinational fast food chains and car showrooms to close over Kashmir tweets

On Saturday, Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists across Gujarat raided dozens of multinational fast food outlets like Pizza Hut, KFC and showrooms selling Korean-made cars like Hyundai and KIA, to shut down their businesses because of a controversial tweet about Kashmir.

Leaders of the Saffron organization demanded that “an apology alone is not enough as companies will have to post on their social media accounts that Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) is an integral part of India.”

Later that day, Bajrang Dal issued a statement which read, “During a protest demonstration by Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad led by Jwalit Mehta, around 50 activists on bicycles staged a march and reached Panchvati at Navrangpura (Ahmedabad) and closed KFC and Pizza Hut near IIM-A Road.”

The statement also said that the activists went to the “Alpha One mall to close Pizza Hut there, but due to the presence of local police they were unable to close it”.

The group traveled to Ashram Road where they forced the closure of a Hyundai showroom. He further added that “after the closure of the exhibition hall, the protest ended with the slogans of Kashmir Hamara Hai (Kashmir is our) and Jai Shri Ram”.

Read also | This is the “jihad of the hijab”, says the head of the VHP

Most restaurants and car showrooms fall under the jurisdiction of the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Zone-1, Ravindra Patel. “No untoward incidents were reported from anywhere. We had deployed police personnel to maintain law and order intact,” Patel said. DH.

Patel also denied receiving any complaints from affected restaurant or showroom owners.

VHP spokesperson Hitendrasinh Rajput said, “We staged our protest across the state including Surat, Vadodara, Anand among others. And we will continue to do so until these companies release a statement that POK is part of India. These companies are there to do business and not indulge in politics.”

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