The three persons arrested in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, on Thursday for allegedly assaulting a Muslim e-rickshaw driver and forcing him to chant “Jai Shri Ram” were released on bail on Friday, reported NDTV. They have been granted bail in less than 24 hours after their arrest.
The three were granted bail from the police station concerned, according to NDTV. Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Anil Kumar said the men were released from the police station after they underwent medical examinations, reported The Indian Express.
“There are court orders that with such bailable offence, we are not to make arrests and if we take someone into custody, then we are to release them from the police station,” Kumar said.
A video of Wednesday’s incident shows the driver’s daughter clinging 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 e-rickshaw driver has been identified as Afsar Ahmad, according to The Indian Express.
The police have filed an FIR against five named persons and eight to 10 unidentified persons for rioting, criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt, The Hindu reported. The three arrested accused were identified as Ajay, Rahul Kumar and Aman Gupta.
Following the arrests, some workers from Hindutva group Bajrang Dal staged protests outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) in Kanpur, The Quint reported. They left only after the police promised to conduct a fair investigation.
But they reportedly warned that they would return if those arrested were not released soon, according to NDTV.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Vikas Pandey told The Indian Express that the assault was connected to a dispute between two families from different communities who live in the area where the incident took place.
Kanpur Police Commissioner Asim Kumar Arun told the newspaper that the two families had earlier filed complaints against each other.
Ahmad, in his complaint, said: “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. I got saved because of the police.”
The attack reportedly took place just after a meeting of the Bajrang Dal in the area. During the meeting, the Bajrang Dal members claimed that Muslims in the locality were trying to convert a Hindu girl.
The police have not stated whether the persons named in the FIR were affiliated to the group.
The assault in Kanpur came just days after inflammatory slogans threatening to kill Muslims were shouted at a rally in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar. Some people who attended the rally also assaulted a journalist and asked him to chant “Jai Shri Ram”.