On Monday, February 14, a KFC outlet in Nagpur witnessed protests over the ‘Kashmir Solidarity’ post by KFC Pakistan handle on February 05 last year. A protest was staged by National Youth Alliance (NYA) activists at KFC Shraddhanand Peth outlet near Mate square in Nagpur.
In the video posted by the organization on YouTube, it can be seen that a group of around 15-20 people entered the store of KFC while giving slogans like “KFC murdabaad, Hindustan Zindabaad“. With Tricolour flags in hand, they had brought with themselves posters criticizing KFC’s move to support Pakistan in its motive to occupy the Indian administered Kashmir. One of the protestors demanding an apology from the staff asserted, “Your company is an anti-national company, Tell us in what way you will register your apology,”
While a staff member tendered an apology with a ‘sorry’ while requesting the protestors to leave, the protestors asserted that an apology should be pasted by the outlet at the entrance. Rahul Pandey, president of the NYA said, “Such anti-national activities can not go on while KFC continues to operate in India. Who gave you the right to participate in movements like free Kashmir?”
The protestors also tried to make customers at the outlet aware of the anti-national tweet by KFC. As the agitation continued, members of the NYA then hung a poster on the reception counter which read, “Entire Kashmir including POK is an integral part of India.” It was seen that the activists tied the poster to the stands to keep the card swipe machines on the counter. Then, all the staff members at the outlet were asked to collectively give slogans of “Hindustan Zindabaad, Kashmir India ka hai, POK Bhi India ka hai!”
They also pasted posters with the text ‘Kashmir Belongs to Kahsmiris’, ‘Sham on You’ and the KFC Pakistan’s offending tweet, and posters saying ‘We Want Apology’ on the walls of the outlet.
While speaking to OpIndia, the outlet staff refused to comment on the issue. However, the protest by the activists was peaceful and no vandalization or loss has been reported at the outlet.
The images of the KFC outlet with the poster “Entire Kashmir including POK is an integral part of India” has appeared on social media with the claim that the KFC outlet themselves put the posters in their outlet. But that is incorrect, and the poster was hung at the outlet by the members of the National Youth Alliance during the non-violent protest. However, the staff members of the outlet didn’t object to the same and politely cooperated with the protestors.
Kashmir Solidarity post by KFC
On February 05, 2021, KFC’s Pakistan Twitter handle had tweeted in a pro-terrorism post celebrating ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ in Pakistan. A similar message was posted by KFC on its official Facebook page as well. The tweet had appeared this year after Hyundai Pakistan had posted a similar message on the ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ on social media platforms. After the outrage against Hyundai, similar messages posted by Pakistani units of other companies had also surfaced, and such companies also faced outrage from netizens and on the ground activists.
However, after a backlash followed by protests over similar posts by Hyundai and KIA Motors in India, KFC India tendered an apology in a statement issued after the post made by KFC Pakistan in 2021.