‘Mob attack on me being celebrated,’ says Muslim student assaulted in MP’s Khandwa

Representational image | TCN Photo

On January 3, Shahbaz, who hails from Sihada village in Madhya Pradesh’s Khandwa, is seen beaten up brutally by several men who he claimed were associated with a Hindutva outfit.

TCN Special Correspondent 

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NEW DELHI – A Muslim college student, who was brutally assaulted in Madhya Pradesh’s Khandwa district on January 3, the video of which went viral on social media, said that some people are celebrating the attack by uploading videos on social media. 

“Now, they have edited the video (which shows that he is being brutally beaten up) to incite people. A statement saying we will beat you up wherever we will find you have been inserted in the video. They are putting out the video everywhere. They are people from my village,” said the victim Shahbaz Patel while talking to TwoCircles.net.

In the January 3 video, Shahbaz, who hails from Sihada village in Khandwa, is seen beaten up brutally by several men. The video shows several men catching him by the collar and threateningly asking him questions before he is thrashed with a stick. 

Shahbaz alleges the men who assaulted him are associated with the Hindutva outfit Hindu Jagran Manch. The FIR in the case was filed fifteen days later on January 18 only after the video of the assault had gone viral on social media. 

Station House Officer (SHO) at Kotwali police station in Khandwa told TwoCircles.net that the police had filed an FIR in connection with the case and arrested six accused. However, the SHO refused to divulge further information in connection with the incident.

The arrested persons have been identified as Aniket Raipure, Ravi Kumayu, Prathmesh Patil, Sunil Mahajan, Abhishek Verma and Vishal Jave. They have been booked under section 151 (Whoever knowingly joins or continues in any assembly of five or more persons likely to cause a disturbance of the public peace) of the IPC. 

Reportedly, the accused are members of the Hindu Student Army, a Hindutva front formed by Hindu Jagran Manch leaders in the district.

Shahbaz is not satisfied with the police action. “After the arrest, no other action has been taken. We were not told what these arrested people…the one who was leading the mob was Madhav Jha (He is Hindu Jagran Manch’s leader). I don’t know them by their name. They are not from my village”.

Talking about the incident on January 3, he said that he had gone to the market for some work when some people came up to him, asked him his name and started beating him up saying that he is ‘Baabda’, a derogatory term being used for Muslims in Madhya Pradesh.

“They took me to the parking area of the Vishal Megamarket mall where there were around 20-25 people. They kept beating me there between 2 pm and 5 pm. They also shot objectionable videos and forced me to shout ‘Jai Shri Ram’. They also robbed me of Rs. 10000 and snatched my Aadhar card, Pan card, ATM card and other documents from me,” he said.

The attackers also snatched a mobile from him, he alleged. 

The police have also filed a case of sexual harassment against Shahbaz on the complaint of a girl, who is his classmate. She is from his village. Shahbaz said that she has been forced to file a complaint. TwoCircles.net tried to contact the girl but could not reach her.

“They filed a false case against me alleging that I was harassing a girl,” said Shahbaz.

The FIR filed on basis of his complaint says that he was beaten up when he was talking to a girl. Shahbaz denies this and said he was alone when he was attacked and was not talking to any girl. 

“I was injured and not in a state to know what had been written in the FIR,” he said. 

Khandwa Superintendent of Police Vivek Singh said the six accused were identified after the video went viral. “We had registered an FIR against unknown persons under relevant sections, including assault on the same day when the incident occurred. But the youth who was assaulted did not recognise the group of people who thrashed him.”

On January 18, a delegation of Muslim leaders met Singh and submitted a memorandum with regard to the incident.

“The youth was beaten up because of his Muslim identity. False allegations were levelled against him,” said a Muslim leader Syed Nisar Ali.

‘Getting Muslim men arrested on false charges’
Newslaundry report revealed that in the same week on January 10, a mob of Hindutva men brutally beat up two Muslim youths when they were sitting along with a Hindu girl. They also forced the police to file a complaint of harassment against them. Two Muslim youths Salman and Sarfraz were booked for harassment even though the girl opposed it. On the complaint of Salman and Sarfraz, an FIR was filed. People from the Hindu Jagran Manch and the Hindu student army were named in the FIR. While talking to the news website, these accused have justified their actions in the name of stopping ‘Love Jihad’.