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Samajwadi Party leader who appeared in Facebook Live with elderly Ghaziabad man arrested

In an FIR, police had alleged that Ummed Pahalwan Idrisi “attempted to give the incident a communal colour”.

Written by Amil Bhatnagar | New Delhi |
Updated: June 20, 2021 8:15:07 am
In the video, the elderly man, Abdul Samad Saifi, had alleged that men who assaulted him offered him an auto ride, took him to an isolated spot and beat him up.

A Samajwadi Party leader, Ummed Pahalwan Idrisi, has been arrested for his alleged “attempt to give a communal colour” to the assault on a 72-year-old man, Abdul Samad Saifi, in Ghaziabad’s Loni on June 5.

A purported video clip of the attack was circulated on social media earlier this week. On June 7, Idrisi had appeared in a ‘Facebook Live’ with Saifi, who alleged that he was assaulted

because of his religion. Saifi said the men had thrashed him and had also forced him to chant “Jai Shri Ram”.

However, police had ruled out any communal angle, and said Saifi was attacked because he had sold the accused a “tabeez (amulet)” that they believed did not work.

“A team of Ghaziabad Police traced Idris’s location to Delhi. He was arrested near Lok Nayak Hospital and will be brought to the Loni Border police station for further questioning. We are in the process of gathering more facts about the case and a decision on his custody will be taken soon,” said Amit Pathak, SSP, Ghaziabad.

On June 16, police filed an FIR against Idrisi at the Loni Border police station under IPC Sections 153A (promoting enmity), 295A (act intended to outrage religious feelings), 504 (intentional insult), 505 (mischief), and 120B (conspiracy), and Section 67 (publishing obscene material) of the IT Act.

“The accused made an unnecessary video with the complainant and, without verifying the facts of the case, carried out religious discussions on his Facebook, which spread animosity in the community. The accused attempted to give the incident a communal colour and disturb the societal balance. This act hurt religious sentiments. The particular act presented a threat to law and order and tried to divide between Hindu and Muslim community,” said the FIR.

Speaking to The Indian Express earlier, Idrisi had said: “Police are saying there is an issue concerning a tabeez. Assuming this is right, the person can approach the police. But to cut someone’s beard is appalling. There is politics being played over this issue and many parties are trying to get involved. I just want justice for him. Till my last breath, I will only repeat what he told me. I am already getting threats and preparations are being made to arrest me since the government is now involved.”

On June 15, police had also filed an FIR against Twitter Inc, Twitter Communications India, some Congress leaders and journalists for tweets on the incident. Twitter India Managing Director Manish Maheshwari has been told to “report to the Loni Border Police Station”.

On Wednesday, Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad had referred to the Ghaziabad incident and criticised Twitter for what he called its “arbitrariness in fighting fake news” and “its inconsistency in fighting misinformation”.

Meanwhile, 10 people have been arrested so far for their alleged role in the attack on Saifi. They have been identified as Pravesh, Kallu, Adil, Poli aka Gulshan, Mushahid, Himanshu, Shahbaz, Anas, Intezar and Saddam.

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