Six Rohingya refugees, including three women, staying on the outskirts of Mujedi village here were allegedly beaten up by unidentified locals on Saturday morning.
The Rohingyas alleged the locals were opposed to the sacrifice of buffalo calves on Id-ul-Zuha. No arrests have been made so far.
A case has been registered on charges of rioting, voluntarily causing hurt, criminal intimidation, wrongful confinement and assault on women to outrage their modesty under the Indian Penal Code at the Sadar Ballabgarh police station.
“The assailants belonged to Mujedi, Mirzapur and neighbouring villages, but they are yet to be identified. Efforts are on to identify them and arrest them,” said Inspector Hans Raj, the Station House Officer of the Sadar Ballabgarh police station.
Staying in a jhuggi-jhonpri cluster in Sector 70, the 40-odd Muslim families, working as rag-pickers, had pooled in money to buy two calves from Delhi on Friday for sacrifice.
“We had tied the calves to a tree when two men tried to untie them and take them along. Two women happened to notice the duo and raised an alarm. When we reached the spot, they accused us of having stolen the animals,” said Sakir Ahmed, who had come to settle at the cluster along with his family a year ago from Delhi.
“But we produced evidence that we had bought the animals. At this the two offered to buy the calves, but we refused. The duo then left,” he said.
Later in the evening, two more men came to the slum cluster and told them not to sacrifice the animals.
Anticipating danger, the refugee families promised to return the animals the next morning.
But, around two dozen men, some of them on motorcycles, reached the settlement around 5 a.m. on Saturday and allegedly beat up the men and women.
“The assailants abducted four of our men and took them to Mirzapur village. They were taken to a nearby forest and brutally beaten with lathis,” said Mohammad Jalil, 28, alleging that two women were also molested and their clothes torn off.
The four men were let off two hours later with the warning to not to report the matter to the police, the residents of the cluster said.
But Sakir called the Police Control Room around 8 a.m. and the police took the injured to a civil hospital in Ballabgarh.
At the hospital the injured claimed they could barely walk and were hit by lathis and stones.
Following the incident, a few policemen have been deployed outside the settlement for the security of the refugees.
The families claimed they had set up the cluster a year ago but never faced any problem before.