A migrant labourer from Kaliachak in West Bengal’s Malda district was abused and assaulted by four men after he failed to name the prime minister of India and the state’s chief minister, The Times of India reported. A video of the incident, that occurred on the Howrah-Malda Fast Passenger train on May 14, went viral on social media.
The four continued to assault Jamal Momin even after he told them he was not very educated and did not know the answers to their questions. “Do you offer namaz,” they asked him. When he said yes, they berated him for praying every day but not knowing the national anthem. While the other passengers remained silent, the accused forced Momin to say “Vande Mataram” and “Bharat Mata ki jai” before getting down at Bandel, Ananda Bazar Patrika reported.
“I was not feeling well that day,” Momin, who works as a labourer in Gujarat, told The Times of India over phone. “So, I sat beside the window. But they forced me to leave that seat. I accepted it. The four youths then threw a volley of questions at me. I could answer some, but most I did not know. They began to abuse me, my family and my religion. They roughed me up several times. I was reduced to tears.”
Members of the Bangla Sanskriti Mancha, a non-governmental organisation, visited Momin’s house and took his wife Julekha to the police station to file a complaint. Julekha told Ananda Bazar Patrika that Momin had not told her about the incident. When asked why, Momin told the Bengali daily that he did not want her to worry about him.
Malda Superintendent of Police Arnab Ghosh said the police had accepted the complaint, but that the the case falls under the jurisdiction of Government Railway Police. “The youth will be identified and booked, no one has the right to insult and assault a person for his religion,” Ghosh added.