“They clearly targeted us because of our attire,” said Mohammad Dilkash, one of the three Muslim youths allegedly beaten up by a group of men for refusing to say “Jai Mata Ki”.
Dilkash, Mohammad Ajmal and Mohammad Naeem — students from a Madrasa (Muslim religious seminary) in Outer Delhi’s Begumpur – were allegedly beaten by five youths. The attack on Saturday left Dilkash with a broken arm.
Dilkash told HT the three of them were taking a walk in a nearby park when five to six people slapped Ajmal and threatened to kill them if they did not chant the words.
“Just that morning I read a news report on the current debate about forcing people to chant slogans. I thought it could happen to never happen to me. But the same evening this happened to me and my friends,” said the 18-year-old.
Watch | Madrassa students thrashed for refusing to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’
The students at Faiz-ul-uloom Ghausia Madrasa in Ramesh Enclave’s Mohammadi Masjid moved to the Capital for religious studies a year ago from their village in Purnea district in Bihar.
“Before we could even react they removed the skull cap from our heads and threw it on the ground. Then they started beating us,” he said. Dilkash said in the FIR that he knew two of the five youths from before.
He said they were thrashed mercilessly. They managed to run out of the park and call their teacher Mohammad Azhar. “We called up our head who then the police. Police came after sometime and took us to Sanjay Gandhi hospital,” he said.
Azhar and others from the mosque alleged the police registered an FIR three days later, claiming to be “busy”.
“Even now they are trying to downplay the incident by not mentioning in the FIR the part about skull caps of students trampled,” he said.
Naeem said it was their first visit to the park. “It is so scary that a simple walk could land you in trouble. We are scared to go outside (the Madrasa) again,” said Ajmal.
TEACHER WANTS PEACE
Madarsa teacher Azhar said such an incident was unheard of in the area. He and the other teachers want the issue to be resolved according to the law. “This was done by some miscreants and it is a one off event. We want peace and justice,” he said. Shanti, who lives adjacent to the mosque, also agreed that it was a stray incident.