The three men accused of assaulting a Muslim man and forcing him to chant “Jai Shree Ram” in Kanpur were released on bail on Friday within 24 hours of arrest.
The incident took place on Wednesday (August 11) and came to light after the video of the assault went viral in which the victim’s five-year-old daughter is seen pleading with the culprits to not beat her father.
On Thursday, the Uttar Pradesh police arrested three accused for assaulting the victim, Afsar Ahmad, who is an E-rickshaw driver by profession. Police filed an FIR against five named persons and eight to 10 unidentified persons under sections 147 (rioting), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
The three arrested accused were identified as Ajay, Rahul Kumar, and Aman Gupta. According to police, Aman Gupta is affiliated with the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP).
While Ahmad was rescued by the police a little later, a video released by The Wire shows the attackers assaulting the victim in the police station as well.
However, within 24 hours of the arrest, the accused were released on bail. The Wire quoted Govindnagar’s Assistant Commissioner of Police Vikas Kumar Pandey as saying that the sections under which the accused were booked have fewer than seven years in jail, and hence following the court directives, the accused were granted bail.
The ACP also informed The Wire that the court had asked the guidelines to be followed properly to prevent overcrowding of jails during the pandemic. The police remark that they are currently raiding several places to make more arrests in this case, as seven more accused have been absconding.
Before bail was granted to the accused, several Bajrang Dal members raised slogans of “Jai Shree Ram” and “Vande Mataram” congregated outside the local DCP’s house, demanding the release of the three men.