A 25-year-old man who came to Gurgaon from Bihar 20 days ago has alleged he was beaten up by an unknown person while returning home after prayers Saturday night. The man, Mohammad Barkat Aalam, also alleged the accused threw his skull cap.
According to the FIR registered in the matter, the incident took place at 10.15 pm Saturday when Aalam was walking to his rented room in Jacobpura after reading the namaz at the Sadar Bazaar mosque.
“When I reached Shyam Sweets, there were four men on a motorcycle and two on foot. The men on foot beat me and said you cannot wear a cap in this area… They had both consumed alcohol. The four men on the motorcycle did not say anything to me… both men threatened to kill me,” states the FIR based on Aalam’s complaint.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Aalam claimed, “The two men told me, ‘remove your cap, it is not allowed here’. I asked them why, but they became aggressive and said ‘why are you wearing a kurta, that is now allowed, take it off’. When I did not do as they asked, one of the men threw my cap on the ground and abused me.”
Aalam claimed he asked bystanders for help but no one came to his aid. “Instead, the man who threw the cap said, ‘they are my friends, what are you asking them for? If you keep resisting, we will make you chant Jai Sri Ram and Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. When I continued to ask bystanders for help, he demanded I chant the slogans,” Aalam alleged.
“I asked him why I needed to chant this, but the man became angry, grabbed a stick from the road, and hit me, while the other man encouraged him. When I tried to run away, they tore my kurta. I started crying and they ran away after that,” he further alleged.
On why allegations of being asked to chant slogans were not part of his complaint to the police, he claimed: “My cousin picked me up and took me to Civil Hospital in Sector 10. I narrated the entire incident to police. I do not know what they included and what they left out; I was too afraid to ask.”
SHO of Gurgaon City police station, inspector Bhartender Kumar, however, denied the allegations: “The FIR has been registered based on the victim’s entire complaint. We cannot edit or leave out anything on our own; that is not possible. Section 153A of the IPC has also been included.”
Apart from Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), the FIR has been registered under sections 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), and 506 (criminal intimidation).
ACP (City) Rajeev Kumar also denied the allegations: “The victim has given a statement, and we have written what he told us. Police have no interest in altering facts… We have procured CCTV footage of the incident, which shows the two men first talking and then fighting. The incident lasted less than a minute. The accused is probably a local resident… His image is faded but we are trying to identify him.”
Aalam also alleged he was made to sit at the police station until 3.30 am, and then asked to return at 10 am on Sunday, with police saying they would “parade some people before me and I would have to identify the accused”.
“When I returned in the morning, they did not make me do any such thing. I kept sitting there until 1 pm until the chairman of the Muslim Ekta Manch came and police allowed us to leave,” he claimed.
Haji Shehzad Khan, chairman of the Muslim Ekta Manch, alleged police “mentally harassed” Aalam.
The SHO, meanwhile, said they “are trying to identify the accused and hope to make some arrests soon”.
Aalam, who had come to Gurgaon on May 6, said he is shaken by the incident and intends to return home to Begusarai.
Aalam’s cousin, Murtuja, said, “I had asked him to come here and learn (tailoring) from me, but he is very scared now… I have been here for 15-20 years, nothing like this has happened with me before, but people do tend to pass comments. We are here to make a living; we cannot afford to fight with every person who says something.”