Muslim man assaulted, forced to chant Jai Shri Ram in Kanpur

Video of the incident was widely shared on the social media

A Muslim e-rickshaw driver was paraded through a street, assaulted and allegedly forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” by a group of men in Kanpur.

An FIR was lodged against five named persons and 8-10 unidentified accused persons for rioting, criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt at Barra police station.

A video of the incident was widely shared on the social media. Afsaar Ahmad is seen being paraded through a street and being heckled and assaulted by the group and forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram”.

Some of the miscreants are seen wearing saffron scarves. His young daughter is seen clinging on to him as she pleads with the assaulters to spare him. He is eventually seen being boarded into a police vehicle by policemen.

In his police complaint, Mr. Ahmad said he was driving his e-rickshaw at around 3 p.m. on Wednesday when the accused persons started abusing and beating him. They threatened to kill him and his family, he said. He claimed he was saved by the police.

Mr. Ahmad says he was assaulted over an old dispute by people living in the same locality near Ramgopal Chauraha. He names Ajay “band wala”, Ajay’s son Don, Keshu Neta, Ramesh, Rani and 8-10 other persons as accused.

In a statement, DCP Kanpur South Raveena Tyagi said on July 12 one Quresha Begum had lodged an FIR against Ramesh and his wife Rani Gautam on charges of assault in the Kutchi Basti locality.

Ms. Rani then got an FIR lodged against Saddam, Salman and Mukul, the other side, under IPC Section 354 (whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty), said the police.

Mr. Ahmad is said to be a relative of the Muslim family involved in the dispute with their neighbours.

Investigation in both the cases is going on. During investigation, Ms. Rani alleged that the accused were forcing her to convert her religion. These allegations are also being probed, said the police.

On August 11, some people demanding action in this FIR gathered at Ramgopal Chauraha to hold a demonstration, said police.

It was around 500 metres from the site of protest that Mr. Ahmad was assaulted, said the police.

Ms. Tyagi said legal action was being taken in the case.

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