Muslim man forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in Gurugram

News 

A 25-year-old man, returning home from a mosque on Saturday night, said he was allegedly assaulted and his skullcap forcibly removed by a group of unidentified persons in Gurugram’s Sadar Bazar area. He alleged that the men also forced him to chant slogans of “Jai Shri Ram” and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.

Police said they have registered a case against an unidentified person, but no arrests were made as of Sunday evening. The FIR, however, does not mention that he was forced to chant the slogans.

The victim, Mohammad Barkat Alam, who had come to the city a fortnight ago from Begusarai in Bihar, said that the incident took place around 10.15pm when he was walking to his house after offering prayers at Jama Masjid in Sadar Bazar.

“Four men on a motorcycle and two pedestrians intercepted me. One of the pedestrians hit me with a stick and told me that I was not allowed to wear a skullcap in the area. He told me to take it off. I told him that I was returning from the mosque. When I refused, he hit me and forcibly took the cap off. He said that if I resisted too much, he would make me chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Jai Shri Ram’,” Alam told Hindustan Times.

Alam alleged that the two pedestrians, who appeared to be inebriated, abused him and repeatedly shoved him throughout the altercation. “One of them slapped me and fell on the ground. I was protesting but no one there intervened. They claimed that other bystanders were their aides and would not intervene. One of them beat me with a stick. He asked me to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. When I refused, he threatened that he would feed me pork,” said Alam, adding that his kurta was torn in the incident.

Alam said that men on the motorcycle did not abuse him.

“When I started crying, they ran away,” he said.

Police said the victim was taken to Civil Hospital in Gurugram’s Sector 10 by his brother on Saturday night and discharged after first-aid.

Rajeev Yadav, assistant commissioner of police (ACP), City, said, “Police received information on Saturday night that a man had been beaten up in the area. According to the investigation, the victim was beaten up after an argument. The reason for the alleged altercation is not known. A case has been registered against an unidentified person. We are probing the incident.”

The FIR registered at City Police station, a copy of which is with HT, does not mention that the victim was asked to chant slogans or threatened to be fed pork. Asked why those allegations were not in the FIR, the ACP said that the complainant, in his statement to the police, only mentioned that his skullcap came off during the fight. “There is no mention of any slogans or any other incident in the written statement given by the complainant,” said ACP.

“As per CCTV footage, the incident took place in over a minute. One suspect can be seen, but the footage is grainy. No one has been arrested,” Yadav said.

A case was registered against unidentified persons under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 147 (rioting), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), and other relevant sections, said police.

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