In a case of caste violence, Akbar Ali, a disabled man, was brutally attacked by a gang at Rampur Bairiya village in Bihar’s East Champaran district. The police have registered a case following last Friday night’s incident but no arrest has been made.

Ali’s friend Mustafa Ansari, who was also beaten up, told The Hindu on the phone that a group of 15 people, including the mukhiya (village chief) Sarfaraz Ahmad Khan, ambushed them and attacked them with rods.

“I could somehow free myself, but Mr. Ali was beaten to pulp. He was already disabled in one hand and now the other has suffered a fracture. His limbs are plastered and he would take around two months to get well.”

Ansari said he, along with Ali and another friend, was returning from a wedding reception along around 9.30 p.m. that day.

In his statement to Khalid Anis Ansari, a researcher with the Delhi-based organisation ‘The Patna Collective’, Mr. Ali said from his hospital bed: “They beat me till I stopped screaming. When they thought I was dead, they left.”

Mr. Ali might have been attacked because he had filed a petition before the Election Commission and the Patna High Court around eight months ago challenging the mukhiya ’s election. Besides that, there have been continual tensions between the upper caste Muslims, comprising the Pathans and Sayyeds, and the Pasmanda Muslims, comprising various sub-castes.

According to a press release issued by MP Ali Anwar Ansari, MP and President of the All India Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz (AIPMM), the mukhiya , Sarfaraz Ahmad Khan, was involved in a 2007 case of arson and he did not mention it while filing his nomination papers even though the case was sub judice .

No arrest yet

While the police have registered a case, no one has been arrested yet. “This is a fight regarding the panchayat elections. Yes the incident has taken place, but there is no caste tension in the village. For the past four or five years, there has been infighting among Muslims. We will find the culprits who are in hiding and arrest them soon,” district superintendent of police Ganesh Kumar told The Hindu .

Meanwhile, a case has been registered against Mustafa Ansari under the Arms Act.

“First you escape a bid on your death and then the police will register a case against you. Had I not run away had my other friend not called for help we would all have been dead,” he said.

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