Eight men have been arrested by Yavatmal Police for allegedly chasing and attacking with stones and sticks two meat shop owners who had gone to purchase a goat from a neighbouring village. The victims, Ansar Ahmed (51) and Ghanshyam Irwe (52), claimed the accused had made communal remarks against one of them, however police, so far, have denied that the assault was communal in nature.
The incident took place Thursday at Darwah town in Yavatmal district when Ahmed and Irwe went to a neighbouring village, Takli, to buy goats on a motorcycle, police said. According to Irwe, they were walking back to their village with the animal, which they had purchased, as their motorcycle had a puncture when they were accosted by a group of men.
“The men asked if we had permission to come to the village. When we told them that we had only come to purchase a goat, they started to assault us. They identified my friend as a Muslim and blamed the community for spreading the novel coronavirus,” Irwe said. According to the two men, the accused continued to make communal remarks and chased Ahmed for a few metres. “They continued to chase me and hit me as I ran. I ran a few kilometres to escape,” he said.
Yavatmal superintendent, M Raj Kumar said a complaint was registered under IPC sections for causing hurt and rioting, and the eight accused, aged between 19-29, were arrested. Subsequently, the police have added section IPC 307 (attempt to murder).
The police claimed that the accused had imposed restrictions on entry and exit to the village on their own. They, however, denied that the assault was communal in nature. The FIR also does not mention that communal language used by the attackers.
“We had told the police what the accused said while assaulting me, but it was not added to the FIR and the statement,” Ahmed said.
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