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Friday, January 27, 2023

Tea stall owner among four people arrested for attacking bakery staff over business rivalry

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In a swift action, the HAL police on Saturday arrested a tea stall owner and three of his associates for attacking the staff of a bakery and taking away valuables over business rivalry in Munnekolala on Thursday.

The incident, captured on CCTV camera, was shared widely on social media creating a furore, prompting the jurisdictional police to take suo motu action, and arrest the accused within a few hours of the incident.

City Police Commissioner, C.H. Pratap Reddy, addressing a press conference on Saturday announced the arrest of Manjunath, owner of the tea stall and his associates, Karthik, 20, a delivery executive, Karthik N., 23, a hotel manager, and Salman, 20, an aluminium worker in Marathahalli. Manjunath had promised to pay money to attack his business rival to create a fear psychosis so that they would vacate and leave the area, a police officer, said.

As per the plan, the accused came to Brahmalingeshwara Condiments, owned by Naveen Kumar Shetty, and ordered tea and cigarettes. Later, they fought over paying the bill. Shetty claimed the gang robbed his gold chain, a mobile phone, and cash from the bakery.

The CCTV footage that went viral soon turned into a political issue, as the MLA of Byndoor, from where the bakery owner hails, met the Home Minister and appealed to him to catch the culprits at the earliest. Some bakery owners and pro-Kannada activists also protested in front of the police station demanding immediate action.

Initial investigation revealed that Manjunath incurred losses in business ever since the bakery was opened in the area. The attack is due to business rivalry, a senior police officer, who is a part of the investigations said.

P.C. Rao, president, Bangalore Hotel Association, said that the incidents of goons and anti-social elements attacking hotels and bakeries were on the rise.

There have been cases of staff of hotels and eateries being assaulted and robbed while they were returning home from work. The government should ensure their safety and take necessary measures to curb such incidents, Mr. Rao, said.



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