New Delhi: Ruling out “any communal angle,” Ghaziabad police have arrested the Muslim man who said he had rushed to help 72-year-old Abdul Samad when he was attacked by a group – as reportedly seen in a video that has gone viral on social media.
The video reportedly shows four men beating Samad up, chopping his beard and asking him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in the Loni area of Ghaziabad.
Ghaziabad police have now said there was no communal angle in the incident, but that Sufi Abdul Samad was attacked by six men – Hindus and Muslims – who were unhappy over the amulets he had sold to them.
Senior Superintendent of Police Amit Pathak was quoted by PTI as having said the two arrested in connection with the incident have been identified as “Kalloo” and “Adil”.
Apart from them, Polly, Arif, Mushahid and Parvesh Gurjar were also involved in the incident, Ghaziabad police said.
One of the arrested men, Aadil, had, in fact, claimed to have attempted to rescue Samad from his attackers. Reported first by Maktoob Media, the development was later confirmed by The Wire.
Aadil’s brother Mohammad Sajid told the news outlet, “Aadil and his friends received a call informing them that Samad was being assaulted by Pravesh Gujjar [Gurjar] and others. They rushed to the scene to rescue him.”
Sajid also reportedly said that Aadil knew Gurjar. Ghaziabad police had earlier arrested Gurjar, who owns the house where the alleged incident took place.
“Will he (Aadil) make an elderly Muslim man chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’? It is bizarre,” Sajid said to Maktoob Media.
Police, according to PTI, have alleged that in his complaint, Samad did not mention that his beard was cut and that he was compelled to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
“Samad also practised occultism and had sold some amulets to Gurjar, purportedly to free one of his family members from some evil effect but a dispute arose between the two as there was no desired result of the amulet,” PTI quoted Superintendent of Police rural Iraj Raja said.
Reports have claimed that police have also filed an FIR against Twitter itself, where the video was shared multiple times, over “inciting religious sentiments.” However The Wire has not been able to independently confirm this development.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath tweeted against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s critique of the attack.
Earlier in the day, Gandhi had tweeted in Hindi, “I am not willing to accept that true devotees of Lord Ram can do such a thing. Such cruelty is far removed from humanity and is shameful for both society and religion.”
मैं ये मानने को तैयार नहीं हूँ कि श्रीराम के सच्चे भक्त ऐसा कर सकते हैं।
ऐसी क्रूरता मानवता से कोसों दूर है और समाज व धर्म दोनों के लिए शर्मनाक है। pic.twitter.com/wHzMUDSknG
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 15, 2021
In reply, Adityanath said, “The first lesson of Lord Ram is ‘speak the truth’ which you have never done in your life. You should be ashamed that even after telling the truth by police you are spreading poison in society. In the greed of power, you are shaming humanity. Stop humiliating and defaming the people of Uttar Pradesh.”
प्रभु श्री राम की पहली सीख है-“सत्य बोलना” जो आपने कभी जीवन में किया नहीं।
शर्म आनी चाहिए कि पुलिस द्वारा सच्चाई बताने के बाद भी आप समाज में जहर फैलाने में लगे हैं।
सत्ता के लालच में मानवता को शर्मसार कर रहे हैं। उत्तर प्रदेश की जनता को अपमानित करना, उन्हें बदनाम करना छोड़ दें। pic.twitter.com/FOn0SJLVqP
— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) June 15, 2021