'Racist' thugs attack takeaway

INDIAN takeaway owner Aklasur Rahman has hit out at the thugs threatening the future of his business.He believes there may be racist element to the attacks – although police said that their investigations so far could not confirm this.

INDIAN takeaway owner Aklasur Rahman has hit out at the yobs threatening the future of his business.

He believes there may be a racist element to the attacks – although police said their investigations so far could not confirm this.

Mr Rahman, 32, manager of Gulshan Indian Takeaway, on Stoke Street, Ipswich, claims his business has been vandalised about 15 times in the past two months.

The latest incident occurred in the early hours of Wednesday morning, when the back door of his takeaway was kicked in.

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Mr Rahman, who opens his takeaway between 5pm and midnight seven days a week, said: "More or less every night they kick the door in.

"When we came in on Wednesday morning we saw the back door was open. They didn't take anything, they just damaged the property. There are only a few onions in here anyway."

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The front window of the business has been replaced three times after being smashed by vandals and the front door has also been kicked.

Mr Rahman, of Christchurch Street, Ipswich, moved to the area 20 years ago from Bangladesh and has been running his business for six years.

He said: "This sort of thing is happening so often. But if I replace the door the people will just come back and kick it.

"The police say they will keep their eyes on the property, but nothing happens. Why is it always my property? We are not harming anybody. Is it because we are Indian?

"None of our neighbours are affected. We have had to replace our front window so many times and it costs money."

Mr Rahman believes a group of four or five youths are responsible for the damage and claims that someone in nearby flats has witnessed them kicking in the back door.

Despite the damage, Mr Rahman is determined not to be forced out.

He said: "We do not want to move. We are quite established here and we are happy with the business. We have got lots of regular customers."

A spokeswoman for Ipswich police said: "We are aware of an incident that took place on that evening and we are currently investigating the matter.

"We are treating the vandalism as criminal damage and don't know whether the attack was racially aggravated."

Police said they had given Mr Rahman crime prevention and security advice to try to minimise the chances of his premises being targeted.

Anybody with information relating to this crime is asked to contact Ipswich police on 01473 613500.



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