A 22-year-old who returned from a Tablighi Jamaat congregation was beaten up in Outer Delhi’s Harewali village, a family was attacked for making a video of Sunday’s ‘diya jalao’ event in Gurgaon’s Manohar Colony, and four men fired outside a mosque in Gurgaon’s Dhankot village in three separate incidents of violence linked to coronavirus rumours over the weekend.
On Sunday afternoon, a 22-year-old man who returned from Bhopal after attending a Tablighi Jamaat gathering was beaten up by locals in Outer Delhi’s Harewali village. A video of the incident shows the man, Dilshad Ali, being thrashed by a mob that accuses him of being a part of a conspiracy to spread coronavirus.
An FIR has been registered and three men have been arrested. Police also filed an FIR against Dilshad — for allegedly violating CrPC Section 144. Additional PRO (Delhi Police) Anil Mittal said they intervened following a call from Dilshad’s father. “We have arrested three men — Naveen Kumar (30), Prashant Kumar (26) and Pramod Kumar (30).”
Dilshad’s uncle Chaudhary Akram alleged: “He was supposed to return from Bhopal on April 4 but got stuck due to the lockdown. Eventually, he and nine others returned in a truck… In Northwest Delhi, he was caught by police, but was let go after a medical examination.”
Akram alleged Ali returned home Sunday afternoon, and soon afterwards locals asked him to accompany them for some work. “They took him to an isolated spot and started beating him. His father came to know through neighbours,” said Akram.
The video shows locals asking Dilshad about his “plans to spread coronavirus”. “If you tell us the truth, we will leave you and hand you over to police. We know what the men who were caught from Nizamuddin had planned earlier. Wasn’t that your plan too?” the men can be seen asking.
In Gurgaon’s Manohar Colony Sunday evening, 20-year-old Aatif Warsi and his family came under attack after a crowd objected to him recording a video of Sunday’s ‘diya jalao’ event at 9 pm. Warsi was standing in his balcony when 20-25 men took out a procession, flashing phone torches.
When members of the procession noticed him and his brothers, they told them to stop making videos. Some from the group allegedly headed to the family’s second-storey home, abusing them and asking them to leave the neighbourhood.
One of the men eventually went to the terrace of a building next to Warsi’s home. “Some then jumped over the balcony and entered our home. They attacked me and my cousin with a brick,” alleged Warsi. Around 10 pm, Warsi’s father Aslam called police. The accused, Deepak Kumar, Ramesh Kumar, Ramsingh, Suraj Prakash, Rajendra Kumar and Mahesh Kumar, were arrested Monday. “The accused have confessed,” said Gurgaon Police PRO Subhash Boken.
Aslam said, “We have lived in this area ever since we came here in 2009. Police have reassured us that nothing like this will happen again, and neighbours have also been apologising. We will not leave.”
On Monday, a day after shots were fired outside a mosque in Gurgaon’s Dhankot village, police arrested four people who, during questioning, claimed they wanted to “check if anyone infected with the coronavirus was hiding inside”. Police identified the accused as Vinod (40), a property dealer; Harkesh (18), who works as a cook at his residence; Pawan (41), a dairy owner; and Aalam Khan (39), a ragpicker. “The four were talking about coronavirus Saturday and about the people evacuated from Markaz Nizamuddin,” said Boken.
“A few days ago, they also heard on social media that six people were found at the mosque in Dhankot. They decided to go there and check ,” he said. No such incident had been reported from the mosque.“They reached the masjid and tried to open the gate. When they couldn’t, Vinod fired a shot towards the masjid and a second in another direction,” said Boken.
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