The famous Karachi Bakery outlet in Bandra Mumbai closed recently. Haji Saif Shaikh, MNS vice president, appeared to praise the closure in a tweet on March 1.
Shaikh tweeted, “After massive protests at Karachi Bakery on behalf of #Karachi led by the Vice President of MNS – @mnshajisaif karachi bakery finally closed the only shop in Mumbai.”
The sheikh and his supporters caused a fuss outside the Karachi Bakery outlet in Bandra in November, demanding the owner change its name, which they suspect is “anti-national” and “unpatriotic”. The Karachi Bakery business was started by a Hindu refugee from Karachi, who fled Pakistan during Partition and settled in Hyderabad.
The Times of India on Wednesday quoted the Sheikh as saying, “I didn’t ask the Karachi Bakeries to close the business. But our soldiers were killed at the border. Every day, we received news about clashes with Pakistan. So I gave a 15 day ultimatum to change the name, or the spelling. . I said spelled it Karachee. They responded by saying that the name reflects their ancient ties to their hometown. Today I am happy. “
Interestingly, Sandeep Deshpande, another MNS leader, tweeted on Wednesday that the Sheikh’s claim was not in the party’s official capacity.
However, the bakery manager, Rameshwar Waghmare, denied the closure move was due to pressure from MNS. Waghmare informed The Times of India on Wednesday, “We closed shop after the old lease agreement ended. Our landlords are demanding a higher amount as rent which is not feasible for us. The lockdown has caused business volumes to fall. “
Referring to MNS, Waghmare added, “There is no reason to give up by changing our name. A bakery is a legitimate business with all valid licenses and approvals. Our decisions are based on business factors. Let others take credit for it if they want to. “
In November, another bakery in Mumbai with “Pakistani connections” was targeted. Shiv Sena leader Nitin Nandgaokar asked Karachi Sweets booth in Bandra to change its name, saying that the party “objected to the name”.
In February 2019, days after a suicide bomb attack in Pulwama that killed more than 40 CRPF men, a crowd gathered outside a Karachi Bakery outlet in Indiranagar Bengaluru and demanded that his name be changed. After the protests, staff covered the part of his signboard that read ‘Karachi’.
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