The suvidhas supermarket in the north-west of India has faced a number of controversies in the past couple of months, with the store’s owners facing criticism from some of its customers and a few politicians.
The controversy began after a video of a group of youths vandalising a store’s facade in the northern city of Indore went viral, sparking a social media campaign and a strong backlash from locals.
The video, posted on Facebook, shows one man walking down a road with a large wooden pole, smashing a large window and damaging a few doors before running away.
The man then returns to the store and continues the attack, causing damage to the front of the store as well as a wall of the shop.
While the video has been shared more than 1.2 million times on Facebook and Instagram, it has also been condemned by some residents of the neighbourhood, who claim the store is a haven for drug addicts.
On Monday, the shop’s owner, Harish Nair, was quoted by the Indore district administration as saying the video was not “socially acceptable” and that he would remove the video from the shop and put up security cameras.
But the incident has only heightened tensions between the neighbourhood’s residents and the supermarket, which has faced protests from locals who say the store has become a haven of drug addicts in the area.
The owner has now gone on a protest tour of the supermarket to ensure the store remains open, with Nair saying the supermarket has “a huge responsibility” for the problem and that his store has had several customers die in recent years.
He said he had spoken to several people who said they were not happy with the incident, and that the store had received a large number of complaints from locals since it began its operations.
He told The Indian Express that the incident would be investigated by the police and that they would also take action against the store.
Nair also said he did not want to comment on the social media controversy, but did say that he was aware of what he was doing and the fact that the neighbourhood had taken a strong stance against the supermarket.
“We will investigate and take action,” he said.
Nawar said the police have also asked him to put up CCTV cameras to ensure that the shop remains open.
On Friday, the store owner said he would not comment on a report that a number have come to him in recent days claiming to have come from a nearby area that has a history of drug use.
“It is very difficult to explain to the customers why we have to do something like this,” he told NDTV.