Sunday, December 10, 2023

Rajasthan Muslim youth brutally attacked by Hindu men for questioning forced chanting of ‘Jai Shri Ram’

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In yet another incident fueled by hatred, a 21-year-old Muslim youth has suffered severe injuries and trauma in Rajasthan’s Bhiwara district on 8 July. He was subjected to verbal abuse, brutal thrashing, and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram,’ a Hindu slogan that has become a war cry.

The survivor, Saheb Ali Khan, has received 15 stitches on his head, is experiencing impaired right-hand function, and has a severely wounded foot. He is currently admitted and receiving treatment at MG Hospital in Bhilwara.

The attack occurred when the Ali, the resident of Maruti Nagar, was on his way to purchase groceries on the morning of 8 July. He was intercepted by Mukesh Gujjar, who coerced him into chanting the Hindu slogan.

Describing the ordeal to Maktoob, Ali said, “I was going about my business, heading to buy milk from a nearby shop, when Mukesh Gujjar and four of his accomplices suddenly stopped me. They abused and forced me to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram‘.”

Fearful for his life, Ali complied with the demand and quickly fled the scene. Later that day, when Ali returned to a nearby tea shop, he encountered Mukesh Gujjar again, this time accompanied by his brother, Shiva Gujjar. Ali attempted to confront Gujjar about the forced chanting of the Hindu religious slogan. “I asked him if it was right to compel someone to recite any slogan, and he referred to me as ‘Katwa’ (a derogatory term used against Muslims). He threatened me and called his friends,” Ali explained.

He further recounted, “I told him that he couldn’t force me to chant the slogan, which enraged him. Within moments, his companions arrived armed with swords, bats, and iron rods, mercilessly assaulting me, targeting my head and body.” During the attack, Ali lost consciousness, and believing him to be dead, the assailants fled the scene. “My nephew took me to the local hospital. If I hadn’t managed to escape, the assault would have cost me my life,” Ali added.

Ali has filed a complaint at Subhashnagar Police Station, and a case has been registered against Mukesh Gujjar, Shiva Gujjar, and five others under various sections of the Indian Penal Code. These include charges of unlawful assembly, deliberate incitement of religious sentiments, attempted murder, causing voluntary harm, and wrongful restraint.

According to the police, two men, Shiv Gujjar and Lokesh, have been arrested thus far.

Kashif Zuberi, a lawyer based in Jaipur, stated, “Both assailants involved in the attack on the Muslim man have a history of criminal offenses.” He also said that they have appealed to the state government to take necessary measures to ensure the safety of Muslims and minorities in the region.

Zuberi, who serves as the general secretary for All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) in Rajasthan, informed Maktoob that if all the individuals involved in the incident are not apprehended by Friday, AIMIM will stage a statewide protest.

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