"I am coming down to see you personally and sort you out."
A Blackburn restaurant owner has said that he has received death threats and racist abuse after his business breached Coronavirus guidelines.
Waheed’s was one of three places which were shut down by authorities in the past few days. The others were the Duke of Wellington pub in Great Harwood and Roberto’s bistro in Blackburn.
Abdul Toheed runs Waheed’s Buffet and Banqueting Hall in Randal Street. He spoke out after an anonymous caller threatened to “burn his place down”.
The restaurant was closed on August 17, 2020, after the authorities discovered that it held a wedding reception for over 100 people on August 16 in breach of Coronavirus guidelines.
Deputy Chief Constable Terry Woods made the decision to publicly “name and shame” the venue which flouted lockdown rules.
He said: “The vast bulk of those people were asked to leave, they were very compliant, but in effect, that wedding reception was closed down and what remained was a small number of people.
“Today future action is going to be considered with the local authority to see what we can do with that premises to stop it happening again.
“For businesses we know it’s hard but we will name and shame places that flout the regulations to this extent and there will be consequences.”
Police are now investigating the death threats and racist abuse.
Mr Toheed said: “Things have got out of hand.
“Yesterday I had three phone calls from people stating things like, ‘You deserve this. You P***’ and ‘I am coming down to see you personally and sort you out’.
“And today an Asian man rang up swearing in Punjabi.
“He then said, ‘I am going to come down to burn your place down’ and ‘I am going to kill you’.”
The restaurant owner said that the past few days had affected his personal and business life but the threats were causing him to be fearful for his own safety.
He said: “I have tried to be as calm as possible. We have a business to run and staff to take care of. But these type of threats are making us fearful.
“Have people got nothing better to do with their lives?
“I understand some people might be concerned but calling and threatening people in this way is no way to act.”
Councillor Parvaiz Akhtar said: “Regardless of the situation this is totally unacceptable.
“Nobody has any right to threaten any business or individual. We should all condemn such hate incidents.
“The council and the police have taken action and it should be left to them to investigate.”
A police spokesman said: “We can confirm we have received a complaint and we are looking into it.”