The Uttar Pradesh have registered against a roadside vendor for selling footwear of ‘Thakur’ brand in Gulaothi police station area of Bulandshahr district.
The vendor Nasir’s family has accused the police of keeping him in custody for over 48 hours. “He was taken into custody on Monday morning and thereafter a case was registered against him,” Nasir’s father Saleem told mediapersons.
Circle officer of Secundrabad area Namrata Srivastava said that a case under Sections 153A, 323C and 504 of IPC had been registered against Nasir and he had been taken into custody. “A team has been sent to the shop from where he bought the shoes for further investigation,” said the CO.
He said that members of an organisation had gone to buy shoes and thereafter reported the matter to the police.
“The case was registered on their complaint,” said the CO. He did not mention the name of the members of the organization but sources said they belonged to the Bajrang Dal.
A video circulated on social media shows Nasir explaining to a group of activists that he was simply selling the shoes and knew nothing about the brand name. The same activists are seen advising him that he should have removed that particular lot of shoes to protect his trade from a bad name.
Ironically, Thakur Footwear Company is an Agra-based brand which has been in business for over six decades. The company sells shoes by the name of TFC and has a good customer base. But it is not clear whether Nasir was selling shoes of the original brand or counterfeits.
The police have justified the action through a tweet which claimed, “Had police not taken action in the case, many people would have reacted critically/ differently. Therefore, police initiated action under the purview of law.”
The Samajwadi Party has criticised the police action and said the government should instead act against officials who approved Thakur brand name.
Samajwadi Party leader and former member of state planning commission Sudhir Panwar said, “It seems the police acted in haste to please their political bosses because the shoe vendor did not commit a crime. He was just selling shoes after purchasing them from a wholesaler. Action should be taken against those government officials who approved Thakur brand name”.