Gurugram: A Muslim youth was allegedly accosted and beaten up by four unidentified assailants here on Saturday night for wearing a traditional skullcap and not chanting religious slogans, police said.
In a police complaint, 25-year-old Mohamad Barker Alam, who hails from Bihar and is a resident of Jakob Pura here, alleged that four young men intercepted him at the Sadar Bazar Lane and asked him to remove the traditional skull cap he was wearing.
"The accused threatened me and said that wearing the cap is not allowed in the area. They removed the cap and slapped me. They asked to chant 'Bharat Mata ki Jai'. Following their instructions, I did that. Then they also forced me to chant 'Jai Sri Ram' which I refused. After thatm the accused picked up a baton and mercilessly beat me on my legs and back," he said in his complaint.
Alam, who was returning home from local mosque in Sadar Bazar area after offering 'namaz', shouted for help and a number of Muslims from there rushed there to help him. As the attackers saw them approaching, they fled the spot.
"We have received a complaint about the incident and subsequently registered an FIR under sections of 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 147 (rioting), 149 (member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC in the city police station concerned. We have also conducted a medical examination of victim," ACP, Gurugram City, Rajiv Kumar, said.
"We are scanning CCTV footage of the area to identify the accused. Effort[s] are on to nab them," he added.
BJP's new minister trolled
Meanwhile, former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir has come out in support of Barker Alam, calling the incident "deplorable". He recently joined the political world, successfully campaigning for a New Delhi seat for the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Sharing the news of the incident, Gambhir called the attack deplorable and urging strict action from the police authorities. He also made a reference to India's multicultural heritage, adding: "We are a secular nation where [lyricist] @Javedakhtarjadu [Javed Akhtar] writes “ओ पालन हारे, निर्गुण और न्यारे” [a Hindu devotional song] & [filmmaker] @RakeyshOmMehra [Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra] gave us d song “अर्ज़ियाँ” [a sufi song].
However, Gambhir's call for inclusivity did not sit well with many social media users, who trolled him for his 'selective outrage'. Tweep @RituRathaur wrote: "You never tweeted on the violent and tragic murder of your worker in Amethi but we're quick tk tweet about this case which is most probably a set up. Over and above you invoke closet jihadi @Javedakhtarjadu? Why are you damaging the support base of @narendramodi ji on social media?"
Gambhir responded to the many comments criticisng him from deviating from the party line and tweeted shortly afterwards that his thoughts on secularism "emanate from honourable PM Mr Modi’s mantra" - progress for everyone.