India: Muslim men attacked in two separate incidents

Monitoring Desk

NEW DELHI: Within a week after election results in India came in, carrying the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) back into power for a second term, two Muslim men were attacked in separate incidents in the country.

A 25-year-old Muslim man was allegedly assaulted in Gurgaon, a New Delhi satellite town, by four unidentified youths for wearing a traditional skull cap. The victim, identified as Mohamad Barkat Alam, is a native of Bihar state.

In a police complaint, he alleged that he was accosted while returning home after praying in a local mosque.

“[They] threatened me for wearing a skull cap. They said it was not allowed in the area. They removed my cap and slapped me,” he said, according to an initial police report.

Alam’s assailants allegedly forced him to chant Hindu religious hymns, assaulting him after he refused, after which they fled when he cried for help.

Gurugram city Assistant Commissioner of Police Rajiv Kumar told the news agency Press Trust of India: “We have registered an FIR [First Information Report] and Scanned the CCTV footage to identify the accused. Efforts are on to arrest them.”

In another incident in Begusarai of Bihar, a young man named Mohammad Qasim was shot at on Sunday, allegedly after he was asked his name.

A similar police report has been registered, though an arrest is yet to be made. A video of the injured youth speaking about the incident has gone viral on social media.

Qasim was shot at in Kumbhi village, allegedly by another resident, after he inferred his religion from his traditional Muslim name.

“I was stopped by Rajiv Yadav and he asked my name. When I told him my name he fired at me and said you should go to Pakistan,” Said Qasim.

Begusarai Suprintendent of Police (SP) Awakash Kumar confirmed the incident to Anadolu Agency.

A similar Islamophobic act of violence occurred last week in the country, resulting in the arrest of five Hindu men in central India after they allegedly beat three Muslims for carrying beef.

Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the BJP to a thumping majority for a second term in with a parliamentary majority. The party won 303 out of 542 Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) seats that went to polls. (AA)