Muslim cleric allegedly forced by group to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’, thrashed in UP’s Baghpat
A group of youngsters allegedly forced a Muslim cleric to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’, pulled his beard, removed his cap and thrashed him after he resisted them, in Doghat area of UP’s Baghpat district on Saturday evening, according to the FIR filed by the cleric.
Police have registered a case against 12 unknown youths in Doghat police station on the complaint of the victim Imlakur Rehman, who is a resident of village Jaula in Muzaffarnagar.
Assistant superintendent of police (ASP), Baghpat, Anil Kumar Singh said that at least four of the accused have been identified and efforts are on to arrest them.
The case has been registered under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections: 147, 341, 295-A, 323, 504 and 506.
While most of the sections are related to rioting, criminal intimidation, section 295-A pertains to “deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.”
However, superintendent of police, Baghpat, Shailesh Kumar Pandey said that prima facie it seems to be a case of assault. The victim first approached Budhana police station where he didn’t mention anything ‘religious’ which he later mentioned in his complaint given to the Doghat police in Baghpat district .
Imlakur Rehman is a teacher in a madarsa. In his complaint to police, he has accused 10 to 12 youngsters of stopping him on Meerut-Karnal higway on Saturday evening while he was returning to his village Jaula from Sardhana in Meerut.
The youths told him “Bharat me rehna hai toh Jai Shri Ram kahna hoga,” Rehman alleged.
He said when he resisted, they pulled his beard, toppled his cap and thrashed him. Some passers-by intervened and saved him from them, he said. According to Rehman’s FIR, the youngsters, before fleeing, directed him to cut his beard otherwise they will not allow him to pass from that road the next time.