Mumbai, Dec 28: The burqa is back in the news. This time it's not religious zealots or political firestarters but jewellers in Pune who want to lift the veil. After surveillance cameras failed to identify two burqa -clad who robbed leading jewellery stores in Pune, the trade in the city has decided to put restrictions on customers who come wearing the attire.
The Maharashtra Jewellers' Association has written to the state home minister to allow jewellers in Pune to put up a board outside their shops informing them of the 'no burqa ' policy. To press for their demand, Pune jewellers have even decided to close their stores on December 29 and also stop dealing with women who walk in cloaked in a burqa from January 1 onwards. But Mumbai's jewellers have not been informed of the move.
The proposal has generated a variety of views. While a section of Muslim clerics said it did not stem from communal bias and appeared to be aimed at safeguarding commercial interests, women who use the attire felt it was "insensitive" to profile people on the basis of their dress.
Pune was rocked by major thefts in two big stores during the Diwali rush. One store suffered a loss of Rs 3 lakh and the other almost Rs 4 lakh. CCTV footage showed burqa -clad women stealing the gold.