TWO MEN were beaten up with sticks — one was tied to a tree — and made to raise slogans of “Jai Shri Ram” by five suspected gau rakshaks, who accused them of carrying beef, in Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh, police said. A video clip of the incident, which is being circulated on social media, also shows the accused forcing one of the men to beat up a woman accompanying them and making her chant “Jai Shri Ram”.
The incident occurred in Dunda Seoni area on May 22. Police said the three persons who were beaten up — identified as Taufik, Anjum Shama and Dilip Malviya — were arrested the same day after the suspected gau rakshaks claimed that they were carrying beef in an auto-rickshaw and a two-wheeler. They have been booked under the Madhya Pradesh Govansh Vadh Pratishedh Adhiniyam and sent to judicial custody.
On Friday, after a video clip of the incident was circulated on social media and a relative of one of the three persons filed a complaint at the Dunda Seoni police station, police arrested the five suspected gau rakshaks — Shubham Baghel, Yogesh Uikey, Deepesh Namdev, Rohit Yadav and Shyam Dehria. The five were sent to judicial custody on Saturday.
Identifying themselves as members of Shriram Sena, Baghel, a habitual offender, had shared the video clip on his Facebook page a day after the assault, but later deleted it. He had earlier posted a photograph of himself with newly elected Bhopal MP Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur on his Facebook page.
A member of Thakur’s team said she did not know Baghel.
The five accused have been booked under various sections of the IPC including 143 (unlawful assembly), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 341 (wrongful restraint), 294 (obscene acts), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) as well as under the Arms Act.
Seoni SP Lalit Shakyawar said prime facie, the meat seized from the trio was suspected to be beef, but it has been sent to a laboratory in Hyderabad. He said the police were busy with counting preparations when the incident occurred. He said the trio did not complain to the police, and the police took action once the FIR was registered. He said one more accused is yet to be nabbed.
Dunda Seoni police station in-charge, Inspector Ganpat Uikey, told The Sunday Express that Baghel faced many criminal cases and had been externed from the district last year.
Uikey said the Muslim man and woman were not related to each other. He claimed none of them sustained serious injuries. They were taken to a government hospital for medical examination and later produced before a local court, which sent them to judicial custody.
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