Muslim youth beaten in Godhra, cops say none forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’
Police in Gujarat’s communally sensitive Godhra town have said that their investigation into the assault of three Muslim youth have revealed that they were not forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
Police started the probe following a First Information Report (FIR) by one Siddique Bhagat who complained that six unidentified men on two motorcycles stopped his son Samir (17), and his friends Salman Gheeteli and Sohail Bhagat when the trio were returning home on motorbike on Thursday night and beat them up.
The police said that according to the FIR, Samir and Salman were hit with bicycle chain and some other blunt object by the six men after they refused to chant `Jai Shri Ram’. It added that accused left the spot after the locals started gathering hearing his victims’ cries.
Samir and Salman who were injured were taken to a hospital.
The police claimed that it was a brawl between two groups over some petty issue and nobody was forced to chant Jai Shri Ram.
“There was a brawl for some reason. The cctv footage revealed that it all started while the two groups started riding bikes simultaneously. Further investigation revealed that the injured boys were not asked to chant Jai Shri Ram,” inspector and investigating officer H C Rathwa said.
He further said, “We have apprehended four persons and process of their identification is on. While two from the complainant’s side were injured, none of the accused was hurt.”
Rathwa also said that the police are yet to take the statement of injured youths.
Last month, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, artists, intellectuals and professionals said the slogan ‘Jai Shri Ram’ has been reduced to a war cry, referring to recent instances in which those being lynched have allegedly been forced to chant the slogan.