A gym trainer was allegedly abducted and assaulted to death in Mewat area in Haryana’s Nuh district on Sunday, The Times of India reported. A mob allegedly lynched the man, identified as Asif Khan, who was returning home from Sohna after buying medicines.
Khan’s family alleged that the man was forced to say “Jai Shri Ram”, according to The Times of India. Asif Khan was accompanied by his cousins, 30-year-old Rashid and 31-year-old Wasif. Reports suggest that Khan was between the age of 25 and 30.
The incident occurred when the three men were ambushed as they re-entered Mewat to go back to their village Khalilpur. “A group of youths intercepted their car near Jacopur and thrashed all three of them,” Asif Khan’s uncle Maktoob Khan told the newspaper. “Asif died while the two others sustained injuries.”
One of the cousins, who was also attacked during the incident, said they knew the accused and that there was “old enmity” between them. Another cousin, Rashid, said their car was hit from behind near Jacopur as another vehicle stopped in front of theirs, blocking the way from both sides. He said a third vehicle hit their car from the side. This caused the car with Asif Khan and his cousins to topple in a field.
Rashid said the group first verbally abused them and then assaulted them one after the other. “They then beat him up mercilessly till he was finally dumped, alive or dead, in Nangli village three kilometers from Sohna. That is where the body was found,” he said, reported The Quint.
A case was registered under sections 302 (murder), 323 (causing hurt), 326 (grievous injuries) of the Indian Penal Code at the Rozka Meo police station. The police denied that the incident was a hate crime and said it was the outcome of an old feud between the two groups.
Fourteen accused have been named in the first information report. This includes Sandeep, Kallu, Advani, Patwari, Rishi, Kuldeep, Sonu, Bhim, Mahender and Anu, according to The Times of India. Six of them were arrested on Monday after locals protested against the incident and blocked the Gurgaon-Alwar road.
The group that lynched Asif Khan was comprised of men from the Gujjar community, according to The Quint.
On Monday, heavy security was deployed at the village as Asif Khan’s family refused to bury him before an arrest was made in the case. However, the family buried him later on Monday.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Sudhir Taneja said the officials were later able to disperse the protesting mob as tensions ran high in the area, reported India Today. The locals had also pelted stones at the Mewat police team that reached the area.
Superintendent of Police Narendra Bijarniya said no one had been made to chant any religious slogans. The police officer reiterated that this was the result of an old dispute between the two groups.