Muslim vendor attacked for ‘entering Hindu area’ booked under POCSO

Hindu men attack Muslim bangle seller

Tasleem Ali, a bangle seller who was seen thrashed by Hindu men in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore, was booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act by Banganga Police on Monday evening on a complaint by a minor daughter of one of the assailants in the video.

Video of Tasleem attacked by Hindu men became viral on social media gaining public outcry across the nation. Tasleem Ali, the father of five, could be seen thrashed mercilessly by the Hindu group who are angered by the Muslim man “meeting their wives and daughters”.

Jamal Ali, Tasleem Ali’s younger brother told Maktoob that Tasleem was called by the police for inquiry and never returned back home.

“Policemen from Banganga Police Station came here and told us Tasleem needed to be taken for some official procedures and would be back in an hour. He isn’t back even five hours later, and we are not able to contact him,” alleges Jamal.

According to Indian Express, Tasleem Ali was booked on Monday evening under IPC Sections 354 (assault or criminal force on a woman), 354-A (sexual harassment), 467, 468, 471 (forgery), 420 (cheating), and 506 (criminal intimidation), along with POCSO.

“He is booked in a counter case. It is a fake case,” Jamal told Maktoob.

Tasleem’s uncle and brother are trying to get his whereabouts.

Police officers, including IGP Harinarayan Chari Mishra, SP Ashutosh Bagri and Town Inspector Rajendra Soni of Banganga Police Station did not respond to texts or calls seeking to know Tasleem Ali’s whereabouts, reported Indian Express.

Surprisingly, no remarks of Tasleem Ali misbehaving can be heard in the viral video. Neither did the assailant hand over him to the police or make a complaint against Tasleem until he filed his complaint against the Hindu men.

“They have taken him in a counter case,” Jamal Ali alleged. “We have no update about what is happening. Tasleem Ali is part of a group of 40 bangle sellers who hails from Uttar Pradesh’s Hardoi district. They go to Indore every year during the festive season for sales,” Jamal told Maktoob.

Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra said that “as per the report of the Home Department, the man was selling bangles using a Hindu name while he was from some other religion. There were two Aadhaar cards on him.”

While talking to reporters following the attack by the right-wing group and allegations of a man with two Aadhaar cards,” Tasleem Ali denied he had two Aadhaar cards or had tried to hide his identity. He said ‘Bhura,’ the name on his voter ID card, was his nickname, while his formal name ‘Tasleem Ali’ was on the Aadhaar card.

Jamal refutes all the claims and says his brother is “innocent”.

“My brother had two identity cards, both of which are in his name. The first one had the name Bhura, which is his nickname, he later changed it to Tasleem Ali which was the name in the second identity card that he was carrying,” Jamal Ali told Maktoob.

“We are from a poor family. everyone is scared after the video. Now he is also taken in a fake case,” says Jamal. “We don’t have any advocate now.”

They said how had I come to the locality despite being a Muslim”

The video is being widely circulated on social media showing Tasleem Ali being thrashed by Hindutva men for entering the Hindu neighbourhood.

On Monday, Tasleem who buys bangles from Jaipur and has been coming to Indore for eight years to sell them during Rakhi, went to the Indore locality where he was attacked for the first time.

“As soon as I called out for buyers, a man grabbed me and asked my name. First, I told him ‘Bhura’, the name on my voter ID card. When he asked if I was a Muslim and I said yes, he again asked for my name. I hesitated and then said, Tasleem. He started beating me up, asking how I could come to their area. He called some other people and they too hit me… They said how had I come to the locality despite being a Muslim, and that I was misbehaving with their mother and sisters,” Indian Express quotes Tasleem as saying.

Tasleem Ali alleges the Hindu men broke his cellphone, and took approximately Rs 10,000 cash, and broke his bangles worth Rs 25,000.

The men who were part of the Hindutva group Bajrang Dal could be seen pulling out the bangles and distributing them in the video that went viral.

By Monday afternoon, police had detained Rakesh Pawar, Rajkumar Bhatnagar, and Vivek Vyas for the attack but refused to comment on the political affiliation of the accused.