Assam Police said eight persons have been arrested in connection with the attack on a Muslim man, who was thrashed and force-fed a piece of pork for selling beef in Biswanath district last week.
Speaking to the Indian Express, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday had assured of strict action against the culprits. “We will not spare anyone responsible for this incident. This is a secular nation. The principle of secularism will be strictly maintained,” he said.
A purported video clip of the incident circulated on social media last week showed Shaukat Ali being heckled and abused by a mob. While the faces of the attackers are not visible, their voices can be heard. “Why did you come to sell beef here?” asks one person. The next question is, “are you a Bangladeshi?”, followed by “is your name on the National Register of Citizens (NRC)”.
Ali can be seen sitting on the ground as he is heckled and abused. One person in the mob then makes him eat what appeared to be a piece of meat.
Meanwhile, the victim’s family has raised questions as to why was Ali detained after the medical check-up. Ali told The Indian Express that he – along with two managers of the weekly market he was running the eatery in – were detained at the police station and released the following morning.
Responding to the families’ queries, Biwanath Superintendent of Police Rakesh Roushan said, “This is not true. He was not detained. He was in our protective custody because of the prevailing situation and tension; there was a clear threat to his life. We also got his medical examination done in the presence of two personne.”
The updation of the NRC is considered to be an effort to detect illegal foreigners in Assam. Ali says his entire family’s name is on the draft NRC published last year.