An elderly Muslim man was assaulted in Loni in Uttar Pradesh‘s Ghaziabad district on June 5 while on his way to a mosque to offer prayers.
The attackers allegedly abducted Abdul Samad from an autorickshaw. And then they dragged him to a hut in a nearby forested area. They also reportedly shouted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Vande Mataram’ as they punched and beat him with wooden sticks. And they forced the elderly man to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
They reportedly also accused Samad of being a Pakistani spy.
One of the attackers – a young man wearing a white full-sleeve T-shirt and blue sweatpants – also threatened Samad with a knife that he used to forcibly hack away at his beard.
The video shows at least two other young men attacking the elderly Muslim man – one wearing a black shirt and red trousers, and another in a light-blue T-shirt and grey trousers.
Forced to chant slogans
“I was on my way when I was offered a lift. Two more men then got inside (the auto-rickshaw) and told me to stay. Then they took me to a room and locked me up and thrashed me. They forced me to chant slogans… they took my mobile away. And they took a knife and cut my beard,” a visibly traumatised Samad, who was reduced to tears, said.
“They even showed me a video of other Muslims being attacked,” he said. The attackers had boasted to him that they had killed many Muslims before, he added.
Police have registered a case and arrested a Pravesh Gujjar – believed to be the main accused. They are still looking for others.
Atul Kumar Sonkar, a senior police officer from Loni, said “required steps” had been taken. The accused, who is in police custody, has yet to make a statement or offer his version of events.