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Rumours fuel attacks on minority community in NCR

In two separate incidents, a Muslim family was attacked by some youths in Gurugram minutes after the 9 p.m. lights-out on Sunday, while a 30-year-old man from the community was thrashed by a group of men in Harewali village in Bawana in outer-north Delhi over suspicion that he was part of a “conspiracy” to spread COVID-19.

Atif Warsi, the complainant from Gurugram, alleged that around 9.15 p.m., four persons, including his neighbours Sonu and Bhutta, climbed up the stairs to his house and accused his family of shooting a video of them. They allegedly abused Mr. Warsi’s mother and threatened them to leave the locality. A little later, Sonu returned and allegedly hit Mr. Warsi and his cousin Mubeen Khan with bricks. Mr. Warsi’s father then made a PCR call and rushed the two to Civil Hospital in Sector 10.

A case has been registered on charges of promoting enmity on grounds of religion and criminal intimidation among others at New Colony police station and six persons — Deepak Kumar, Ramesh Kumar, Ram Singh, Suraj Prakash, Rajender Kumar and Mahesh Kumar — have been arrested, said the police.

In Harewali village, three residents — Naveen, Prashant and Pramod — have been arrested and sent to judicial custody for allegedly beating up a man, Shamshad Ali, who had returned home after spending 45 days at a religious gathering in Raisen district, Madhya Pradesh.

Mr. Ali tried to reach the village by hiding inside a truck transporting vegetables from M.P. to Delhi. The truck was inspected at Azadpur market and he was detained. Mr. Ali was later released after a medical screening. “When Ali reached the village, some miscreants spread a rumour that he was a part of a group planning to spread COVID-19 in the village. Before he could reach home, he was held by some youths and taken to a farm on the outskirts and thrashed. They mistook him to be part of the Tablighi Jamaat centre in Nizamuddin,” a police officer said.

The incident took place on Sunday afternoon and was recorded by one of the accused on his mobile phone.

In the 6.27-minute-long video, the accused are seen thrashing Mr. Ali and repeatedly asking him to reveal his “plan”. The victim, bleeding from his left ear, tries to explain that he has been tested and he is not infected.

Mr. Ali’s family members said that a neighbour informed them about the incident but by the time they reached the spot, the police had taken him to a hospital.

“We have been living in the village for the past three generations and earn money by working in the fields of other villagers. We have never witnessed any communal tension,” said Akram, a distant relative of the victim.

Mr. Ai is the oldest among four siblings and works as a labourer.

“We are poor, no one comes to offer food to us but they came to kill our son. I do not know what to say. We just want him to get well soon,” said another relative. An FIR under sections of violation of lockdown rules has also been registered against Mr. Ali.

In yet another incident, four persons were arrested in Gurugram for allegedly opening fire outside Jama Masjid in Dhankot village here a day earlier. The accused said they had gone to ensure that there was no COVID-19-infected person inside the shrine and opened fire after the door was not answered.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 3:27:56 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rumours-fuel-attacks-on-minority-community/article31274962.ece