The Ghaziabad Police on Wednesday invoked the National Security Act against a member of the Samajwadi Party who has been arrested for making the video of the assault of an elderly Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh.

The man, identified as Ummed Pahalwan Idrisi, was arrested on June 19, three days after a first information report was filed against him at the Loni Border police station. The FIR claimed that Idrisi had “unnecessarily” made the video in which the Muslim man, Abdul Samad Saifi, was seen being assaulted.

Idrisi was booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious belief), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 505 (public mischief).

The police said that the action against Idrisi had been taken against the accused under sub-section 2 of section 3 of the National Security Act.

The assault

The case relates to a video depicting 72-year-old Abdul Samad Saifi saying that he had been abducted in an autorickshaw by several men and locked up in a secluded house. Saifi alleged he was assaulted and forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram”. He also said the assailants cut his beard and made him watch videos of other Muslims being attacked.

Though the alleged assault took place on June 5, the video of the attack and of Saifi narrating the incident was circulated widely on social media on June 14.

However, the Ghaziabad Police, which registered a case based on Saifi’s complaint, on June 15 claimed that there was no communal angle to the assault. The police added that both Hindus and Muslims were among the accused who beat up the elderly man. Saifi, they claimed, had been beaten up because an amulet he gave one of the assailants had an adverse effect on them.

The police had arrested nine people in connection with the assault. However, the accused have been granted interim bail by a court in Ghaziabad.

Meanwhile, the police have claimed that the tweets and videos on the assault of the man were “an attempt to destroy communal harmony”.

Apart from Idrisi, the Uttar Pradesh police have filed a case against Twitter India, The Wire, journalists Rana Ayyub, Saba Naqvi and Mohammad Zubair, and Congress leaders Salman Nizami, Masqoor Usmani and Sama Mohammad in connection with their social media posts about the assault.

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