Two cases have been lodged after five people, including a nine-year-old, were assaulted by a mob near Gaya on Sunday on the suspicion that they were child-lifters. One of the FIRs has been lodged on a complaint by Mohammed Qaisar, one of the victims, in connection with the assault. The other has been lodged by forest officials, accusing Qaisar and three others of hunting down four doves — a protected species — at Maher forest near Gaya.
According to Qaisar’s complaint, he, his friends Liyaqat Ali, Saif Ahmed, and Waliur Rahman and Rahman’s nine-year-old son were out for dinner. “We left Gaya in Saif’s car for Fuddi-Chanan village where an acquaintance Shivbalak Yadav lived. As Yadav was not home, we proceeded to Navagarh via Maher,” says the complaint.
On the way, the complaint says, a group of 15 people stopped their car, accused them of being child-lifters and started beating them up with sticks. Rahman, who has suffered head injuries, has been shifted to a hospital in Ranchi and the three others are in hospitals in Patna.
The FIR has been lodged against 19 identified and 110 unidentified people and three people have been arrested, said police.
Rahman’s sister Farhana said his brother and the others were out for a “litti-chokha party”. “Initially, the mob accused them of being child-lifters, but his son told them to let his father go. When the mob found that they are Muslims, they were assaulted again. My brother has blood clots in the lungs. His son has bruises all over,” she said, adding, “Mob assault has become a norm.”
The Gaya forest department has lodged a case under non-bailable sections of Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, against the four victims of mob violence for allegedly killing four doves. They have seized a rifle, two airguns and the birds’ carcasses. The minor has not been booked.
According to the forest department complaint submitted in a local court, the five were spotted near Nawagarh around 8 pm on Sunday. “Our patrol chased them… Their car took the Fatehpur-Gaya road and met with an accident. Several villagers started gathering. We could not keep a track of what happened because of the crowd and darkness,” said the Gurpa forest area officer in the application to the court.
The forest police said they would arrest Qaisar and the others after they recover.
Tankuppa police station in-charge Vikas Chandra Yadav said they have arrested three people and are looking for the others. Asked about Farhana’s allegations, he said the FIR does not mention anything about the assault being linked to the victims’ “religious identity”.”It is a case of a mob assault over rumours,” he said. —WITH ENS RANCHI