A Muslim e-rickshaw driver was assaulted, paraded through the street and forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur town on Wednesday, NDTV reported. A video of the incident was widely shared on social media.
The footage shows the 45-year-old man’s daughter clinging on to him and pleading with the accused to spare him. After the Muslim man was handed over to the police, the video shows him being hit by another man as the personnel escort him.
The Kanpur Police said a case of rioting has been filed against a local resident who runs a marriage band, his son and around 10 unidentified people.
“We have seen the video of a man being assaulted,” Raveena Tyagi, a senior police official in Kanpur, told NDTV. “Based on a complaint by the victim, we have filed an FIR [first information report] and we are carrying out the legal process.”
In his complaint, the Muslim man said the incident took place all of a sudden. “I was driving my e-rickshaw around 3 pm when the accused started abusing and assaulting me and threatening to kill me and my family,” he added. “I got saved because of the police.”
The attack reportedly took place just after a meeting of the right-wing group Bajrang Dal in the area concluded. During the meeting, the Bajrang Dal members claimed that the Muslims in the locality were trying to convert a Hindu girl.
However, the police did not say if the men named in the FIR were affiliated to the group.
The Muslim man’s relatives are involved in a legal dispute with their Hindu neighbours. The two families filed cases against each other at the local police station in July.
The incident took place three days after inflammatory slogans threatening to kill Muslims were shouted at a rally in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar. Those who attended the rally also flouted Covid-19 guidelines as they neither wore masks nor maintained physical distancing norms. They also assaulted a journalist and asked him to chant “Jai Shri Ram”.