Imams injured in attack by Hindutva goons in Maharashtra, UP

In one of the incidents the assailants went inside a mosque and forced an imam to chant Jai Shri Ram. When the imam refused, the attackers cut his beard

In two separate incidents in Maharashtra and UP, imams were attacked by Hindutva goons. In both incidents, the imams were grievously injured.

An imam from Maharashtra’s Jalna district was allegedly assaulted and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ by unidentified Hindutva goons while he was reading Quran. When he refused, they cut his beard.

The incident occurred on March 24 in Jalna’s Anwa village. According to local reports, the imam named Zakir Sayyed Khaja was reading the Quran in the mosque when at around 7:30 pm, a group of Hindutva goons with their faces covered entered the mosque premises and threatened him with dire consequences if he refused to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.

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When the imam did not adhere, three men took him outside and beat him up. the imam alleged he was attacked with a chemical-laced cloth which rendered him unconscious.

He was rescued by a few Muslims who had come for the Isha prayers. On regaining consciousness he noticed his beard had been cut off.

The imam is currently undergoing treatment at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar (previously known as Aurangabad).

On information, police registered a case against the unidentified individuals under Sections 452 (trespassing after preparation for hurt, assault), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 34 (criminal act by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Investigations are currently underway.

UP Imam attacked, police turns blind eye

In a similar incident in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar district, an imam named Mohammad Kamran was subjected to a hate crime attack by a group of Hindutva people on March 26.

The attackers filed a fake police complaint using a woman who alleged that her house was under attack by Muslim men.

In a video interview with a local news channel, Kamran who hails from Gorakhpur, said he had been leading prayers at a mosque in Kushinagar for the last six years. “I have never encountered anything like this before. On March 28, I was having tea at a nearby stall when suddenly I was attacked,” he said.

Identifying a few of his attackers, Kamran says, “Durgesh, Sunil, Pramod and a few more persons launched an attack from behind. They hit me with sticks on my shoulder, hand and head severely. After people made noise, they ran away.”

Kamran accuses the UP police of conducting one-sided investigation. “The police have refused to register our complaint. On March 28, they booked me along with 15 other Muslims, including three minors, residing near the mosque,” Kamran alleges.

According to a news channel, two FIRs were lodged – one against the Hindutva goons who attacked and the other against the Muslims.

In the first FIR filed against the Hindutva attackers, sections 147 (rioting), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the IPC were invoked. While as, in the the second FIR against the Muslims, apart from Sections 147, 323 and 504, sections 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 352 (punishment for assault or criminal force otherwise than a grave provocation) and 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault and wrongful restraint) were also added.

According to Kamran, many Muslim men have fled Kushinagar in order to evade arrest.

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