NEW DELHI: Moments after Prime Minister Narendra Modi called here on Saturday for Hindu-Muslim unity to deliver a truer freedom to India, a Muslim man was thrashed by alleged Hindutva activists in neighbouring Haryana state for wearing a skullcap.
The Hindu said on Sunday that Mohammed Barkat was told to remove his cap and chant Jai Shri Ram.
“One of the men called me with an offensive word and told me that skullcap was not allowed in this area. When I told him that I was returning from a mosque, he slapped me. He also asked me to chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Jai Shri Ram. When I refused, he threatened to feed me pork,” Mr Barkat was quoted as saying.
The assault alleged took place at Jacubpura in Gurugram on May 25 night. No arrests have been made so far, The Hindu said.
It said Mr Barkat, 25, was returning to his shop around 10pm on Saturday after offering prayers at Jama Masjid in Gurugram when a group of about half a dozen men allegedly accosted him outside a sweet shop. Mr Barkat claimed that the man allegedly picked up a stick and hit him and also abused him.
Mr Modi told his newly elected MPs to work for communal harmony that existed in 1857, reminding them not to bear a grudge against those that didn’t vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party.
When Mr Barkat tried to push the man and run away, the man allegedly tore his shirt. As Mr Barkat started crying, the men left. Four of them drove away in a motorcycle and two just walked away into one of the alleys in the area, The Hindu said.
Mr Barkat’s cousin Murtuja then took him to civil hospital. The hospital authorities made a call to the police.
A case has been registered on charges of promoting religious hatred, causing hurt, criminal intimidation and unlawful assembly, among others, at City Police Station in this connection.
The Hindu quoted Haryana BJP spokesperson Raman Malik as strongly condemning the incident saying that his party was against any kind of appeasement but any illegal act would not be tolerated.
He said that he had spoken to the police in this connection and directed them to identify the persons involved at the earliest and take action against them as per the law.
Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2019