It was recently reported by several news publications and amplified by several social media influencers that a Muslim man was beaten up by two Hindu youths for not chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in a train on Thursday (12 January) in Uttar Pradesh.
The claim was based on allegations by the man made on camera to news channels and a written complaint given by him to the railway police the next day.
However, the police have said that during their investigation, no evidence of the man being beaten up over religious slogans came to light and, instead, allegations had been made against the man for molesting a woman in train.
The man is named Asim Hussain and is said to be 45 years of age. A short video showing Hussain being beaten up by two youths went viral on social media on Saturday, which can be watched here.
The police chief of Moradabad railway police, in a video statement posted on Twitter yesterday, said that Hussain gave a written complaint to the railway police on Friday night saying he was assaulted, pushed off the train and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
The railway police filed a case under relevant charges based on Hussain’s written complaint against the youths. As per Hussain, the incident took place on Thursday in Padmavat Express, which travels from New Delhi to Pratapgarh, when the train was between Hapur and Moradabad, the police said.
The officer said that during investigation, the police found that the complainant’s allegations were found to be of no merit.
“Instead, it has come to light that the complainant had molested a woman in the train, which enraged fellow passengers who beat him up. This angle is under investigation too. If we get a complaint regarding this, we will look into it,” he said.
As per The Times of India, Hussain made a “verbal” complaint to the railway police at Moradabad on Thursday, following which the accused youths were detained. The next day, Hussain received a video clip of the incident and gave a written complaint to the police.
Hussain is an aluminium trader from Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad district, the report says.
It is pertinent to mention that the viral clip only shows Hussain being thrashed and there is no mention of any religious slogan, to the best knowledge of this portal.
Incidents where men from the Muslim community have made unfounded allegations that they were beaten up for not chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ have come to light repeatedly in the recent past.
In June 2021, Altnews’s co-founder Mohammed Zubair posted a muted video on Twitter of a man being beaten up and his beard chopped off. Zubair claimed that the man was Muslim and was beaten up while being forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram'.
Later, police revealed that the attackers included Muslim men and the reason of the attack was personal enmity and not religion. Both sides knew other each well and did business together.
Zubair then deleted his post and admitted in public that "the victim's version of him being forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram' at this point in time do not seem to add up based on my conversations with police authorities and other journalists reporting on this issue". An FIR was filed against Zubair for spreading communally sensitive false information.
The same year, Haryana Police ruled out any communal angle in the murder of a man named Asif Khan from Mewat district. Some publications including Maktoob Media had reported that Asif was killed in a hate crime and he was forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram'.
The same year, communal tensions erupted in Bhainsa town of Telangana when 'Jai Shri Ram' slogan was found written on a mosque. It led to anti-Hindu violence in the area. Later, police said that investigations revealed it was handiwork of two Muslim boys, one of whom was a minor.
In 2019, a Muslim man named Barkat gave a complaint to the police that he was harassed by unknown bike-borne men who told him that skull caps were not allowed in the area. The next day, as Muslim organisations approached him and called the media, Barkat said that the men had asked him to chant 'Jai Shri Ram' slogans.
A week later, Gurugram Police Commissioner Mohammad Akil held a press conference and said that many of Barkat's allegations did not match with his statement in the FIR as well as with the footage obtained from CCTV cameras.
The officer said that Barkat did not mention the bit about 'Jai Shri Ram' in his original complaint, and he might have been “tutored” to say it.
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