Over 6,000 food joints stay closed for the day
The ‘hotel bandh’ call, given in protest against increasing attacks on hoteliers and hotel staff in the twin cites, evoked a good response on Monday with over 6,000 small and big food joints remaining closed for the day.
All hotels, bar and restaurants, road side eateries, Lingayat and Savji ‘Khanavalis’ (mess), sweet marts and bakeries were closed from dawn to dusk in both Hubballi and Dharwad on Monday.
Extending support to them, food joints in Kalghatgi and Kundagol also downed their shutters on Monday.
Those visiting the twin cities on work had a difficult time as even roadside food joints also remained closed till late evening.
The other district units of the Karnataka Pradesh Hotels and Restaurants Association also extended support to the bandh call and they served food on Monday wearing black ribbons on their arms to register their protest against such attacks.
Apart from visitors, students and employees residing in rented rooms and dependent on food joints for daily food were the worst affected. The hoteliers of Hubballi-Dharwad had given the call for the bandh to condemn the attacks on those running the food industry in the twin cities and the failure of the police to curb the menace despite repeated pleas.
The immediate reason for the bandh was a recent assault on the owner of Hotel Brahmashri and the hotel staff in Hubballi resulting in a head injury to the owner.
The CCTV camera in the restaurant captured the incident, which clearly showed that the accused had beaten up the hotel owner and staff after picking up quarrel over the bad quality of food.
To register their protest, the hoteliers and hotel staff took out a protest march on the thoroughfares of the city in Hubballi and they subsequently submitted a memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister to the Hubballi Tahsildar’s office, and association office-bearers submitted memoranda in other districts too.
Divisional Secretary of the association Sudhakar Shetty said that what pained them most was that despite serving food to the people, they were targeted by some miscreants and repeated requests to the police department had gone unheeded.
Meanwhile, Police Commissioner M.N. Nagaraj told media persons that the problems of the hotel owners were genuine and the department would extend all necessary help to them in running their businesses smoothly.