A MUSLIM cleric and two of his relatives were allegedly assaulted by some unidentified persons on board a Delhi-Shamli passenger train, in Baghpat district on Wednesday night. According to an eyewitness, the attackers said they wanted to remove the head scarves which the victims were wearing.
Station Officer (SO), GRP police station, Sukhpal Singh, said Gulzar, 30; Israr, 25; and Abu Bakr, 21, were on their way to their village in Baghpat when they had an argument with six co-passengers at around 10:15 pm.
“During their altercation, the trio were allegedly beaten up by the group,” said Singh.
“We had gone to Delhi to visit Hazrat Nizamuddin and were returning in the train. We were supposed to get down at Ahera station in Baghpat, which is close to our village. As the train was about to reach Ahera, a group of six-seven youths bolted the doors. When we told them that we had to get off at the next station, they said they would let us go after some time,” Guddu, 18, who has been named in the FIR as an eyewitness, told The Indian Express.
“We had no argument with these people. They said they would remove the scarves tied around the heads of Gulzar, Israr and Abu Bakr. Since I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt, they did not target me,” said Guddu, who is from the same village as the victims.
“Before we could gauge their intentions, they targeted Gulzar, Israr and Abu Bakr, and started beating them up without any provocation. They were carrying a sharp-edged tool, with which they hit Israr, causing injuries,” he said.
He said the assailants got off the train at Ahera station. While the victims were also supposed to get off at the same station, they decided to wait for the next station, fearing that they would be attacked again. None of the other passengers came to help even after hearing our screams, said Guddu.
According to SO Sukhpal Singh, Israr suffered a head injury while Gulzar and Abu Bakar sustained minor injuries. “After treatment at the district hospital, they returned to their village, Choulhada, where Gulzar is a cleric at a mosque,” he said.
“The victims lodged a complaint at the Baghpat City Kotwali and an FIR was registered under IPC Sections 147 (rioting), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 352 (assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation) against six unidentified assailants,” said the SO.
On the cause of the argument, Singh said the victims claimed that they were beaten up for no reason. The SO, however, denied reports that the trio had been thrown out of the train. He said they got off at the Baghpat Road station.