Days after an alleged assault on a 28-year-old man in Panipat was shared widely on social media, with his brother alleging that his hand was chopped off with a chainsaw after the assailants saw “786” tattooed on the hand, a top Panipat police officer on Thursday said initial investigation indicates the 28-year-old had sodomised a child and might have injured himself while trying to escape.
Panipat ACP Satish Kumar Vats also disapproved of the “absolutely absurd” “communal angle” being given to the incident on social media.
The brother, however, accused the police of “deliberately trying to dismiss it as a case of accident”.
The incident took place in Panipat, Haryana, on August 23. The 28-year-old was found by GRP by the railway tracks the following morning. Based on his brother’s statement, GRP lodged a FIR and transferred probe to local police.
On the basis of complaint by the child’s family, an FIR was registered at the same police station (details withheld to protect child’s identity) against the 28-year-old for allegedly kidnapping and sexually assaulting the seven-year-old. According to the family, they rescued the child and caught the 28-year-old, but the latter managed to escape. The child, his uncle said, broke two of his teeth and there were marks of assault on his body.
Both FIRs were lodged on September 7.
ACP Vats told The Indian Express, “We are investigating. But prima facie, it appears the man was allegedly involved in sexual assault on a minor boy. He escaped in an inebriated state and might have suffered an injury on the railway tracks. He was admitted to Civil Hospital by GRP personnel. When the matter was brought to my notice, I sent the investigating officer to record his statement, but he had already fled.” Now, Vats said, the 28-year-old’s brother is “giving the incident a communal angle by circulating these things on social media”.
Challenging police’s version, the brother said the 28-year-old, who works as barber, had gone to Panipat to look for work when some people there asked his name, and “attacked him on finding he is a Muslim”. Four men and two women later “saw 786 tattooed on his forearm and got agitated —they chopped his hand off with a chainsaw and dumped him by the tracks.” He said his brother is being treated in Saharanpur, where the family lives. “I will have to take him to a hospital in Chandigarh for surgery on his arm,” he said.
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