The case pertains to a scuffle that broke out on October 24, outside Tushara Ajith’s ‘non-Halal restaurant’ in Kochi, over property ownership issues.

Tushara Ajith, Kerala entrepreneur standing next to a board that says 'non-Halal restaurant'
news Crime Tuesday, November 02, 2021 - 17:48

Tushara Ajith, the Kerala entrepreneur known for her ‘non-Halal’ restaurant in Ernakulam district, and her husband were on Tuesday, November 2, arrested by the police under attempt to murder charges. The case pertains to a scuffle that broke out between her and other shop owners in the premises over the placement of a chaat stand. Along with Tushara and her husband, two other accomplices have also been held. 

The police also said that another case has been registered against Tushara, for spreading hatred. Tushara had recently made news for making false allegations that she was “assaulted by jihadis” for starting a non-Halal restaurant in Kochi’s Kakkanad, and for serving pork. She had also alleged that the police are against her and are helping the accused in the case. However, the police denied these allegations and confirmed that there was no communal angle in this case. 

"The case was registered on October 24 itself, soon after the scuffle happened. Four people — Tushara, Ajith, Sunil and Vinoop aka Appu — have been arrested; they had been absconding since the incident. They have been arrested for murder attempt charges," Infopark Circle Inspector Santhosh told TNM, adding that the four will be produced before court on Wednesday, November 3, after completing evidence collection. 

Tushara had rented space in the Kochi building for the second branch of her ‘non-Halal’ eatery six months ago. But because of an ownership dispute, there currently are multiple claims over who can use which space and a case is in court. The scuffle between Tushara and the others had ensued over a chaat stand that Tushara wanted to set up outside the eatery. However, Nakul, an owner of another shop in the premises, questioned whether she could place such a stand there. “When Nakul questioned the placement of the stand, Tushara slapped him and it became a clash. Benoy, who runs another store there, got involved. And both Benoy and Nakul have alleged that they were assaulted by Tushara, her husband Ajith, and two other accomplices,” a Circle Inspector had earlier told TNM. 

Following the scuffle, Nakul and the other shop owner, Benoy were admitted to hospital with injuries on their legs. The police had registered two cases in the issue, one against Tushara, her husband and two accomplices under Section 326 (voluntarily causing grievous injury by dangerous weapons) of the Indian Penal Code; and the other against Benoy and Nakul, following Tushara’s counter complaint that they misbehaved with her.

This incident — purely a civil one — was misreported by many, including some local media as well as the BJP in Kerala, who added a communal twist to the issue. BJP leaders, Sangh Parivar sympathisers, and some fundamental Christian groups, made several communally coloured remarks on social media about ‘jihadi invasion through halal food. However, the police confirmed that there was no such angle in the case. 

Read: Kerala entrepreneur Tushara gets into civil dispute — and the BJP makes it communal

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