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"Are we in Pak or Afghanistan?" Actor, husband attacked by mob in Bengaluru

Mangalore Today News Network/NDTV

Bengaluru, April 19, 2024: Actor Harshika Poonacha, who works predominantly in Kannada movies, claimed she and her husband Bhuvann Ponnannaa were harassed for speaking in the local language by a group of men who also tried to rob them.



In an extensive Instagram post with videos and photos of the alleged attackers, the actor asked, "How safe are we locals in our Bangalore? Are we living in Pakistan or Afghanistan?"


According to the actor, she had stepped out to have dinner with her husband and family at the Karama Restaurant near Bangalore’s upscale Fraser Town on April 2. As they left the restaurant and sat in their car, the actor said they were attacked by a group of men.

Narrating the harrowing experience, she wrote, "A couple of days ago, I went to have dinner with my family at a restaurant called "Karama" on Masjid Road in Pulikeshi Nagar near Fraser Town area. After dinner, we were leaving the valet parking after taking our car, when two men suddenly appeared near the driver-side window and started arguing that our vehicle was so big that if it suddenly moved it might touch them.

"My husband asked them to leave because they were talking about a possible incident and it didn’t make sense. We moved the vehicle a little further and by then, these two men started abusing us in their language and even tried to hit my husband in the face and said, ’These local Kannadigas should be taught a lesson.’ My husband was very patient and didn’t react much..." she wrote.

Within minutes, she alleged, around 30 men from the same gang gathered and tried to snatch her husband’s gold chain and broke it as her husband resisted the snatching.

"... Two of them tore my husband’s gold chain and tried to pull it towards them... My husband realised just in time and held on to it and gave it to me. They damaged the car and tried to physically abuse us by saying things that neither we nor the others could understand.

"My husband did not react much since there were women and family in our car. Also, what I noticed was that they had a problem with us speaking in Kannada. ’Yeh local Kannada wala hai (these are local Kannada people),’ they said. It agitated them more when my husband and I spoke in Kannada only," she claimed.

She soon made a call to the inspector she knew from the area and the men "dispersed in a fraction of a second like nothing had happened". "We tried looking for them but they had disappeared into thin air in a matter of seconds," she added.

However, the actor got no help from the local police, she claimed. "We found a patrol police vehicle nearby and narrated the incident to Mr Umesh, the Assistant Sub-Inspector, from the nearby police station, he did not seem keen to help us. He said we should talk to the higher-ups in the department and did not even have the courtesy to come and find out what happened."

Flagging the police official’s blatant apathy, she said, "He wanted to drink the moosambi juice that he was drinking in front of a restaurant just two buildings ahead."

The police, however, said they have not received any complaint in the case yet. "The incident happened on April 2. We contacted the concerned and asked them to file a complaint. They have asked for more time. We are waiting," they said.

Ms Poonacha said she didn’t file a police complaint since her family thought their safety was important.

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