A man wearing a cap with a message opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens was allegedly beaten up by five men in East Delhi on Friday, The Quint reported. The man, identified as Faisal, alleged that the attackers were drunk and were upset because his cap said, “No CAA, No NRC”.
The incident took place in Rani Garden Park. “When I entered wearing this cap, which till now I never felt uncomfortable wearing, they began taunting me,” Faisal told the news website. He said the men began to taunt him, alleging that his mother and sister were being paid Rs 500 per day to take part in protests at Khureji, a protest site in Delhi. The claim that protestors were being paid was circulated as fake news, according to The Quint.
“The men said my protest means nothing and that nothing can be done about what has happened,” Faisal said. “They also used abusive language after which I got angry and retorted.” Following this, Faisal said he was beaten up, including with an alcohol bottle, and fell unconscious.
“Wearing a ‘No NRC/CAA’ cap will do you no good,” the men allegedly told Faisal. “You’re a Muslim. Your place is in Pakistan.”
Faizal’s younger brother Shaad found him lying in the park, after which his family arrived and called the police. The victim was taken to a hospital, where a CT scan was performed on him. However, the police arrived only an hour later, according to the news report.
“They have taken my statement and asked me to come tomorrow,” Faisal said. “They said they will round up some people and ask me to identify who did this.”
An unidentified duty officer at Geeta Colony Police Station told The Quint that a complaint is being registered by sub-inspector Avdesh Kumar. “Once a complaint is registered, they will send it to the police station and begin the investigation,” he said. “The first information report will be filed after.”
On Wednesday, a gunman had opened fire outside Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, claiming that he would give “azaadi” to the protestors outside the college. One student was injured in the attack.
The Citizenship Amendment Act provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Act has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims. At least 28 people have died in protests against the Act since December.
The government also wants to conduct NRC across India to identify undocumented immigrants. Its critics fear that the amended law, clubbed with the National Register of Citizens, will be misused to target Muslims since the Citizenship Act now has religion as a criterion.