“1 Year After Udaipur Murder: Hindus Live in Fear, Shops Shut After 6 pm, Business Down by 50% in Kanhaiya Lal’s Market”

June 28 this year will mark one year of the spine-chilling murder that was reported from the Udiapur district of Rajasthan. Kanhaiya Lal, a Hindu tailor was beheaded in Udaipur on June 28, 2022, by two Islamists named Mohammad Riyaz and Ghouse Mohammad for supporting former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma on social media. Nupur Sharma’s remarks on Prophet Muhammad stirred the country with violent protests by Islamists.

Kanhaiya Lal, who had a tailoring shop in the city’s Maldas Street, was attacked by the culprits who posed as customers. The duo fled away from the spot on their bike after they brutally murdered Lal last year in June. A year after the incident, team Dainik Bhasker reached the spot to witness that the shopkeepers at the Maldas street continue to live in fear and some of the businessmen have even left the locality out of fear.

According to the report, there are around 300 shops in the busy Maldas market street area, and Kanhaiya Lal’s tailoring shop named ‘Supreme Tailors’ existed in one of the lanes. Maldas Street is widely known and famous as the textile market and people from nearby areas including Chittorgarh, Dungarpur, Rajsamand, Banswara, Bhilwara, and Pratapgarh used to approach the markets for textile trade. But a year after, Maldas Street has become mute and the existing shopkeepers continue to operate their businesses in fear.

Further, the lane in which the deceased Kanhaiya Lal had his shop has 15-20 other shops out of which only two are currently operating. The local shopkeepers also refused to talk to the media fearing that they would be targeted by the Islamists for speaking on the issue.

However, one of the businessmen said on the condition of anonymity that people staying or doing business in the area are scared by the incident. “Some of them have left the locality while the others continue to stay in fear. People now 24 by 7 lock their residences from outside and nobody is interested to do business here,” he said.

“I also have a tailoring shop in the area. Earlier I used to operate the business till 9 pm, but now we all on Maldas Street close our shops by evening 6. Our respective families start calling us if someday we get late. Now I also am studying law and will practice it in the future since I see no future in the tailoring business given the shop location at Maldas Street,” the businessman added.

The other businessman also confirmed that many people had shifted their businesses from Maldas street as the customers stopped coming to the area for shopping or trade. “It’s been a year since that incident. People are scared but now there’s no point in thinking about that. Businesses should go on,” said he who continues to operate the business for the maximum time on the street.

Business at Maldas street reduced by 40% to 50%

The team further happened to interview Dinesh Dalal, a tailor shop owner who has a business 150 mt away from Kanhaiya Lal’s shop. Dalal who has been owning a shop in the area for around 27 years said, “The market has completely changed. Customers also are scared to come to the market since the murder. Many of the shops today have shut down. Some people left work due to the recession. Only one or two tailor shops are open,” he said.

(This post was first published in OpIndia.com)

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