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‘I was just doing my duty,’ says Indian Sikh officer who saved Muslim youth from mob attack

Social media is calling him a hero after a video has surfaced of sub-inspector Gagandeep Singh protecting a Muslim man from being heckled and beaten when he apparently went to meet his girlfriend, who is a Hindu, near a local temple

Image Credit: Gagandeep Singh/Facebook
Gagandeep Singh, the Sikh officer based in Ramnagar, who prevented a mob from assaulting a Muslim youth.
Gulf News

A Sikh police officer prevented a ferocious mob from assaulting a Muslim youth by becoming a human shield in Uttarakhand, India.


What happened:

The incident occurred in Uttarakhand, India, when a young Muslim man went to meet his girlfriend, a Hindu, at a temple

Locals somehow came to know about it and reached the temple to "teach the couple a lesson".

Sub-inspector Gagandeep Singh rushed to the rescue of the couple and protected the boy as the fierce mob attacked him.


“I was just doing my duty. I couldn’t have allowed the angry crowd to harm the [Muslim] youth. It would have weighed heavily on my conscience throughout the rest of my life had anything happened to the youth,” he told an Indian newspaper.

Social media is calling him a hero after a video has surfaced of sub-inspector Gagandeep Singh protecting a Muslim man from being heckled and beaten when he apparently went to meet his girlfriend, who is a Hindu, near a local temple.

This happened in Ramnagar, Uttarakhand, which is part of the so-called Hindu heartland of India. There has been no indication of condemnation from the BJP-led state government on the incident.

Zee News reported that a mob wanted to “teach the duo a lesson”.

According to the Hindustan Times, the 28-year-old officer “disapproved of right-wing activists or people in general attacking or disturbing a couple, if both are adults”.

Incident

He told the newspaper: “The incident happened around 12pm on May 22 when a large number of devotees were thronging the temple for Ganga Dushera celebrations.

I was on duty on the temple premises when I heard people shouting and bringing this 24-year-old Muslim youth Irfan towards the temple. They had beaten him up near the river bank, nearly 50 metres down from the temple.”

Singh stepped in. “I held him close to myself and tried to take him away from the angry mob. I used my body as a shield to save him from the blows of the angry mob. It was with much difficulty that I was able to take him away,” he said.

The girl was escorted away by a female officer from another exit at the temple.

“Both are adults. The boy was around 24 years old and the girl is above 18 years. After sometime, when we were assured, we escorted them out of the area safely,” Singh added.

Members of the Sikh community are known for their bravery and tolerance of faiths.

Singh has upheld, with his actions, their belief’s readiness to protect the weak, and defend against injustice and persecution, as per social media.

Assistant Director General of police in Uttarakhand Ashok Kumar police informed Indian media that the mob was soon dispersed. He added that a reward of Rs2,500 was announced to honour Singh.

The entire incident was caught on camera and went viral on social media. It helped the Uttarakhand police book people whose faces could be seen in the video and start a search for them.

(Compiled from several Indian media news sources).

 

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