Muslim man assaulted in Ghaziabad; beard chopped off by suspects
Four unidentified men allegedly confined and assaulted an elderly Muslim man in Ghaziabad’s Loni town on the afternoon of June 5. They also chopped his beard and allegedly forced him to chant “Jai Siya Ram”. The Ghaziabad police confirmed the incident on Monday after a video of the incident, purportedly shot by one of the suspects, went viral on the social media.
The police said that they have registered an FIR on the complaint by the victim, Sufi Abdul Samad, under the Indian Penal Code sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) at Loni Border police station. Samad is a resident of Anupshahar in Bulandshahr district
Samad approached the police two days after the incident, on June 7. In his complaint, Samad said he reached Loni around 2.30pm on June 5, and boarded a shared auto to go to a mosque at Behta Hajipur. However, the auto driver and the three suspects drove him to a different location. They took him a room at an isolated area where they beat him up. In his complaint, Samad did not mention that the suspects chopped his beard. However, the video shows a man chopping Samad’s beard with a pair of scissors.
After the suspects left the spot, Samad reached his friend’s house in Shaheed Nagar, Ghaziabad, a police officer said.
“Samad had come to Loni to meet an acquaintance. After the incident, Samad came to my house and stayed for about two days,” said Mohammad Asif, Samad’s family friend.
“He told me about the assault and said the suspects forced him to chant “Jai Siya Ram”. But the slogan could not be heard in the video clip. He was held captive in a dark room for about two hours,” Asif said.
Samad could not be reached for a comment.
The police on Monday said that they have arrested Pravesh Gurjar, a resident of Loni, in connection with the incident and teams were looking for the remaining suspects.
“We arrested one person in connection with the incident. We are trying to find out if the suspects were known to the victim or not. We have called him to get more details, but he has not arrived yet. He did not mention in his complaint that the suspects had chopped his beard, as shown in the video. The video shows the suspects assaulting the victim. The allegations that the suspect forced the victim to chant religious slogans are yet to be substantiated and are a part of the ongoing investigation,” said Iraj Raja, superintendent of police (rural).
Officials familiar with investigation said besides Gurjar, there were five to six suspects involved in the incident and some of them were probably Muslims. “It seems that the suspects wanted to give a communal turn to the incident. More details will be come out once they are arrested,” said an officer from Ghaziabad police.