Two arrested after Muslim man forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in MP: Cops
Police said that acting on Rashid’s complaint, they arrested the accused Ishwar Singh, 27, and Kamal Singh, 22.
Two people were arrested for allegedly assaulting a Muslim man and forcing him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain district, police said on Sunday.
According to the complainant Abdul Rashid, who works as a ragman, the assault took place on Saturday when he was looking to collect scrap items in the district’s Mahidpur area.
“I went to Sekli village to collect rags when the accused came to me and said how dare you enter the village. They started pushing and abusing me. I requested them to allow me to leave but they started forcing me to chant Jai Shri Ram,” he said. A video of the incident has gone viral on social media. HT could not independently verify the video’s authenticity.
Police said that acting on Rashid’s complaint, they arrested the accused Ishwar Singh, 27, and Kamal Singh, 22. The two were booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 505 (2) (public mischief), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), police said.
“Social media is fueling these incidents. We have also issued a warning in the district that if anybody posts anything to promote enmity between two communities then that person will be arrested,” Ujjain superintendent of police Satendra Shukla said.
The incident comes against the backdrop of a spate of communal incidents in the state. On August 23, police arrested two people for allegedly thrashing a 25-year-old Muslim bangle seller in Indore and later booked him for allegedly touching a teenager inappropriately. Madhya Pradesh home minister Narottam Mishra said Taslim Ali was using a fake identity and passing himself off as Hindu. Four days later, a 45-year-old Muslim hawker was allegedly beaten up by two men in the state’s Dewas district after he failed to produce an Aadhaar card to prove identity.
Saturday’s assault has triggered a fresh political tussle in the state, with the Opposition accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of not taking adequate steps to stop such incidents. “Some people are trying to spoil our ‘Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb’. It seems to be happening under a special agenda and the government is watching it silently. I demand that state government take strict action against the people of any religion, who are involved in unlawful activities,” state Congress chief Kamal Nath said.
The government, however, maintained that they will take appropriate action. “The state government is taking swift action against such anti-social elements. Nobody will be spared if they try to spoil the environment in MP,” state minister Vishwas Sarang said.