3 accused, held for assaulting Muslim man in UP, get bail

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A local court in Uttar Pradesh granted bail to three persons a day after they were arrested for assaulting a Muslim man and forcing him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.

The trio, reportedly belonging to Hindu rightwing outfit Bajrang Dal, had paraded a 45-year-old man Afsar Ahmad in UP’s Kanpur town through a street; assaulting him and making him chant “Jai Shri Ram” slogans on Wednesday. The man was eventually handed over to the police.

Videos of the assault, which also shows Afsar’s five-year-old daughter pleading with the men to let her father go, had gone viral on social media.

In one of the videos, some men wearing saffron scarves are seen assaulting Ahmad, an e-rickshaw driver, accusing him of raising anti-national slogans. Ahmad is seen pleading repeatedly that he did not raise any such slogan, while his daughter tries to free him. Police had rescued Ahmad and taken him and his daughter to a police station.

“They (accused) had been booked under IPC sections that have less than seven years of punishment and as per court guidelines, people accused under such sections should be granted bail. The bail was granted by a local court and we released them after receiving the orders,” The Indian Express quoted Govindnagar ACP Vikas Kumar Pandey as saying.

The three accused were identified as Ajay Rajesh “Band waala”, Aman Gupta, and Rahul Kumar. An FIR against them along with 10 unidentified people was lodged under IPC Sections 147 (rioting), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation).

Bajrang Dal members had held a protest late Thursday night outside the local DCP’s office demanding their release and calling their arrest wrong. During the protest, slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Vande Matram’ were also raised by them.

Senior police officers held talks with the members of the outfit, following which the protest was called off.

DCP (South) Raveena Tyagi Thursday met Ahmad’s family, including the five-year-old child, who had witnessed her father being assaulted.

Police had earlier said the assault on Ahmad was linked to a dispute that took place a month ago between two families belonging to different communities who live in the slum where the assault took place.

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