The Ghaziabad district magistrate on Tuesday assured protesters, many of them from right-wing outfits, that action will be taken into the incident of violence that ensued on Sunday night in Khoda. The protesters from Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal on Tuesday held a protest at the district headquarters and also submitted a memorandum to the district magistrate.
A VHP city unit functionary, Rakesh Garg, was attacked by around eight persons in an SUV in Anil Vihar of Khoda on Sunday night. Three others, who had come to the aid of Garg, who is differently abled, were shot at.
“We are not buying the police’s theory that the incident was an act of road rage. There is absolutely no basis for it being a road rage incident. Garg was attacked in a planned manner after he had complained about the expansion of a mosque in Deepak Vihar and the police had stopped the construction,” Umanandan Kaushik, VHP city president, said.
The protesters demanded that those responsible are arrested and security provided to the victims and their families. Besides Garg, three others — Rahul Rajoria, Vikas Mishra and Abhishek Mishra — suffered bullet injuries and are being treated at Kailash Hospital in Noida.
“The attackers were from a different community but identified themselves as members of the majority community to throw us off their track. We want the provisions of National Security Act to be imposed on against the accused and the expansion of the religious structure stopped immediately. The treatment costs of the victims should also be borne by the administration,” Subhash Chand, a functionary of Bajrang Dal, said.
Hundreds of protesters also gathered at Saraswati Vihar in Khoda and condemned the attack.
“We have received their memorandum and ordered for necessary action on the issue. The land use of the plot on which the religious structure was being constructed will be ascertained by a subdivisional magistrate. The expansion of the religious structure has already been stopped by the police. They have also arrested four persons and are on the lookout for the remaining accused,” Nidhi Kesarwani, the district magistrate, said.
Garg and three others were allegedly fired upon and also beaten with rods and hockey sticks. An FIR was lodged at Khoda police station. The police have arrested Riyaz Malik, Nadeem, Rahul Malik and Syed Mohammad, Rahul’s father-in-law.