The Karnataka Police on Friday said they have arrested seven members of the Bajrang Dal in connection with two incidents of assault over the selling of halal meat in Shivamogga district’s Bhadravathi town, The Hindu reported.

Those arrested have been identified as Vadivelu, Savayi Singh, Ramu, Sanjay, Srikanth, Lokesh and Manjunath. All the accused persons are between the ages of 23 to 37 and are residents of Bhadravati or nearby areas.

Since last week, several Hindutva organisations in Karnataka have been urging people to stop buying halal meat in the state, according to The News Minute. “Halal” is the Arabic word for “permissible”. Halal meat, which is sanctified by Islamic law, involves killing an animal by cutting the jugular vein, carotid artery and windpipe.

Hindutva organisations have alleged that selling halal meat is part of “economic jihad” by Muslims so that they do not do business with other communities.

On Wednesday, members of the Bajrang Dal had attacked a Muslim meat vendor named Thousif over arguments on halal meat, ANI reported.

The Bajrang Dal members had asked Thousif to sell only non-halal meat since his shop was located in a Hindu majority area, according to The Hindu.

Shivamogga Superintendent of Police BM Laxmi Prasad had told ANI that a first information report was registered over the incident at the Hosamane police station in Bhadravati.

On the same day, the accused had also assaulted a customer at the town’s Janata Hotel for consuming halal meat, The Hindu reported. A case was registered by the police on the customer’s complaint.

The assaults in Bhadravathi town took place on the day state Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai had said that the issue of halal meat was to be studied in its entirety, according to The Indian Express.

“It [halal issue] has just now started,” he said. “We have to study in entirety, because it has nothing to do with any rules. It is a practice which is going on. Now, serious objections have been raised regarding it.”