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Spree Of Hate Crimes Continue: Group Beats Up Muslim Cleric, Forces Him To Say ‘Jai Shri Ram’

The goons warned Imlakur Rehman Ali that should he dare to enter "their territory", he should remove his beard.

Post the reelection of the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government into power, India has witnessed a trend of violence and religious chauvinism against Muslims where Hindutva goons have forced the victims to chant “Jai Shri Ram”. The Indian Express on July 15, reported another such incident where a 30-year-old Muslim cleric was allegedly beaten up and forced to utter the same near the Sarora village on Meerut-Karnal highway in Baghpat.

According to the FIR filed at the Doghat police station in Baghpat, cleric Imlakur Rehman Ali, a resident of Jola village of Budhana in the Muzaffarnagar district, was returning home on a motorbike after teaching students at a mosque in Sardhana, Meerut, on the evening of July 13, Saturday. He was suddenly forcibly stopped by around ten youngsters near Sarora village in the Baghpat district.

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“They removed the cap from my head and pulled me down by holding my beard. They forced me to say ‘Jai Sri Ram’ with them repeatedly and warned me against retaking the same route. And if I dared to come back, I should remove my beard before entering into their territory,” Ali was quoted as saying in the FIR.

While the police have lodged an FIR against ten unidentified persons for rioting and criminal intimidation, as per the IE report, no arrests have been made in the case, so far. Cops have also claimed that a purported video of the alleged incident shows that “no one forced the victim to chant Jai Sri Ram”.

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Speaking to the daily, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Ramala) Anuj Kumar Chaudhary said, “We have lodged an FIR based on a written complaint given to Doghat police by the victim. We are investigating the veracity of the allegations. We also have a video of the incident in which it is clear that no one forced the victim to chant Jai Sri Ram. Prima facie, it appears that someone has pre-scripted the content of the complaint to give the incident a communal colour.”

Police also said that two residents of Sardhana — Suhail and Nadim Khan — had come to Ali’s rescue and took the cleric to the Doghat police station.

Ramesh Singh Siddu, the in-charge of the Doghat police station added that the FIR had been lodged under IPC sections 147 (rioting), 341(wrongful restraint), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt).

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