Ghaziabad assault: Police deny communal angle; FIR booked against journalists

Ghaziabad: Days after reports of an elderly Muslim man being assaulted by a group of Hindutva nationalists on his way to the mosque emerged, Ghaziabad police have now denied any communal angle in the case.

On Tuesday, the Ghaziabad police, who have arrested three persons, including a Muslim, said the accused were unhappy about the ‘tabeez’ (amulet) he had sold to them.

The arrested youth have been identified as Kalloo and Adil. Apart from them, Polly, Arif, Mushahid and Parvesh Gurjar were also involved in the incident, Senior Superintendent of Police Amit Pathak said on Tuesday, The Tribune said in a report.

The elderly man, identified as Abdul Samad Saifi was allegedly abducted from an autorickshaw and was dragged to a hut in a nearby forested area, where the group reportedly shouted ‘Jai Shri Ram‘ and ‘Vande Mataram’ as they punched and beat him with wooden sticks, earlier reports said.

The video of the man being brutally thrashed went viral across social media, along with Saifi’s statement detailing the incident.

Different versions emerge

While the police denying communal angle in Saifi’s assault is one version, Scroll in its report said that there is also a third version. In its report, brother of the Muslim arrested in the case said that his brother was being trapped in the case as he had only gone to the spot to help Saifi escape attackers.

The police however stuck to their version.

FIR against Twitter, several journalists

Besides, the Ghaziabad police lodged an FIR against Twitter Inc, Twitter Communications India, news website The Wire, journalists Mohammad Zubair and Rana Ayyub, Congress politicians Salman Nizami, Masqoor Usmani, Dr. Sama Mohammad and writer Saba Naqvi for sharing the viral video on their social media accounts.

“These people did not verify the truth of the matter and shared it online with a communal angle with an intention to disrupt public peace and create a divide between religious groups,” the FIR states.

“Besides this, Twitter Inc and Twitter Communications India also did not take any measures to remove their tweets,” it adds.

FIR has been lodged under Indian Penal Code sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153A (promoting enmity between groups on ground of religion, class, etc), 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious belief), 120B (criminal conspiracy), among others.