Couple operating ‘no halal’ restaurant, two others arrested

The Infopark police have arrested four persons, who have been on the run for nearly a week, after being booked in three cases in connection with an incident involving the assault of two youngsters at a cafe in Nilampathinjamugal near Infopark Kochi last month.

The arrested were identified as Thushara Ajith Kallayil, her husband Ajith Kallayil and their two accomplices Appu alias Vinoop and Sunil. They were picked up from a hideout at Ponkunnam in Kottayam district during the early morning hours of Tuesday. Appu was an accused in six other cases.

Though the accused tried to resist, the police team overpowered them and brought them to Kochi where their arrests were recorded following an identification parade.

Thushara had created a flutter when she dramatically came live on Facebook aboard a moving ambulance, claiming to be mercilessly assaulted for putting up a “no halal food” sticker at what was supposed to be her soon-to-be-opened restaurant. In a communally loaded statement, she dubbed the alleged attack against her as one against businesses run by one community. The right wing had been batting for her since then with top BJP leaders, including State president K. Surendran, tweeting in her favour.

She had won over the right wing after putting up a similar “no halal” board outside her restaurant at Palarivattom shortly after a few Hindu Aikya Vedi activists were booked for forcing a bakery owner to remove a board publicising the availability of “halal” food in December last year.

However, shortly after her Facebook post, it emerged that it was actually her two accomplices, Appu ans Sunil, who had hacked and injured two youngsters - Nakul who runs the cafe and his friend Binoj. Thushara had allegedly created provocations by taking away a kiosk outside the cafe, and when the youngsters questioned it, they were attacked by her accomplices, the police said. Binoj was seriously injured and had to undergo a surgery on his leg since then.

The police had booked Thushara, her husband and two of their accomplices in a case registered in this connection under IPC Sections 326 (Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide).

Nakul had said shortly after the incident that the woman probably created provocation under the impression that the family belonging to another community that was entrusted with running the chat kiosk owned the cafe as well.

Thushara also stands booked in another case registered under IPC Section 153A (vilification or attacks upon the religion, race, place of birth, residence, language of any particular group or class or upon the founders and prophets of a religion).

She and her husband and eight others were booked in another case registered under IPC Sections 457 (Lurking house trespass or house-breaking by night in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment) and 380 (theft in dwelling, house etc). This was after another shop owner lodged a complaint about theft of his valuables.

On inquiry, the police allegedly found Thushara and her accomplices to be behind that as well. Two accused involved in that had already been arrested and four more remain to be nabbed.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 8:27:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/couple-operating-no-halal-restaurant-two-others-arrested/article37308980.ece

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