By Tazeem Haider
In the last week of May, just within five days of BJP winning a landslide mandate in the general elections and three days of PM Modi’s speech in the Parliament’s Central Hall urging his leaders to win confidence of Muslims, a youth in Delhi’s Jaitpur was threatened, abused with communal slurs and beaten badly by a mob for allegedly being a Muslim.
However, the hate crime left a streak of silver lining. He was rescued by the relatives of his Hindu friend who reached just in time to save him.
On May 28, Mohammad Sajid, a resident of Jaitpur Extension Part 2, who works as a salesman in the same area, was returning home from the shop with his friend Gaurav. When the two youth reached near the Gurudwara of Jaitpur, they were waylaid by a large group of youths who attacked both Sajid and Gaurav. While Gaurav, somehow managed to escape, Sajid was caught and brutally assaulted by the miscreants. After knowing the fact that Sajid is a Muslim, they violently beaten him.
“My friend Gaurav and I were returning to our home. I was talking with my sister on the phone. When we reached Molad Band area, two youths called Gaurav from behind and ask him to come to them. We went near them. They shook hands with us and took our phone. Then they took us to a nearby lane. When we asked our phones to be returned they took out blades and put them on our throats asking us to hand over our belongings to them,” the victim told India Tomorrow.
“They kicked on my chest and when I screamed ‘Allah’, one of them said, “He is a Mullah, a Muslim, kill him. They took Gaurav away from me. Then one of the attackers came and shouted your friend has ran away,” Sajid further narrared his ordeal.
According to Sajid, the spot was swarming with attackers joining the mob. “The assailants hired an auto rickshaw and took me across the Jaitpur area and stopped at a Gurudwara. Around twenty five people must have gathered there. They were beating me with chains and rods. Some of the men were waving the swords. They were shouting that he is a beast, kill him,” he said.
In order to create panic they tried to hurt the religious sentiments of Sajid. According to him, one of the attackers said, “Bring the meat of pig and force him to eat, cut his beard, pass urine in his mouth”. Sajid told India tomorrow that they were making my video and made it viral.
However, when Sajid’s hopes of making out of alive were diminishing, the moment of miracle and humanity showed up.
Sajid’s friend Gaurav who had escaped the beating informed his family about the incident. Upon knowing that Sajid was being attacked by the mob, Gaurav’s mother and grandmother came running to the spot of violence and after their intervention, the crowd dispersed, thus Sajid’s life was saved.
“It was the mother and grandmother of my friend Gaurav who saved my life. If it weren’t for them, who came just in time to save me, I would have been killed by the attackers as they were planning to take me to ‘Peer Baba’ (nearby shrine) to finish me off,” said Sajid on a positive note.
After Sajid was brutally beaten, his mother received a phone call and got to know about what happened and his whereabouts. “I received two phone calls that night at roughly every five minutes. The first phone call was made by the owner of the shop where Sajid works and the second was from the policeman. Both informed me that Sajid was badly injured and taken to AIIMS trauma center. We reached there. He was on the wheel chair. His mouth and nose were bleeding profusely. Now I just want justice for my son and want to say that no one should be targeted the way my son has been attacked,” she said.
“My son is very scared. He has just come out of the mouth of death. His fears grow at night. We can’t leave him alone because he gets anxious. When he comes near the door and looks outside, he tells us that it scares him. We do not sleep the whole night because of him. There is panic in his mind,” Sajid’s mother further says.
While detailing about the panic attacks Sajid gets after the incident his mother said, “My son screams during the sleep and wakes up shouting I’m not, I’m not, I’ve done nothing. Then we try to get him become conscious and say there is nothing. There is pain in his chest.”
Sajid is the only son of his parents and earns Rs. 8000 per month. His father Liyaqat works as a blacksmith. Sajid also has two younger sisters.
There has been a sharp rise in the attacks in different parts of the country against the minority community especially since May 23, when the results of Lok Sabha polls were declared and Bharatiya Janata Party emerged victorious.
Ironically, these attacks have taken place despite PM Modi’s speech on May 25 at the Central Hall of the Parliament, in which he had said that minorities of this country have been cheated and misled by various political parties for electoral gains and BJP should win their trust.
Hate Crimes against Muslims After Lok Sabha Elections 2019:
On May 22, 2019, a Muslim couple and their Hindu friend were assaulted by a gang of self-styled cow vigilantes and forced to chant Jai Shri Ram for allegedly carrying beef in Seoni, Madhya Pradesh. Three were arrested by the police on the same day. After a video of the assault went viral on social media, the police arrested the five attackers.
On May 25, hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the nation that minorities were kept in fear for electoral gains for decades and asked his NDA parties to win their trust, a Muslim youth was reportedly assaulted in Gurugram in BJP-ruled Haryana, hardly couple of hours drive from the national capital. The Muslim youth, identified as Mohammad Barkat, 25, was not only thrashed when he was returning from Travih, special night prayers in Ramazan, but was also asked by the goons to remove his skullcap and chant Jai Shri Ram.
On May 25, three self-styled “gau rakshaks” entered a dairy owned by a Muslim in Gokul Nagar area of Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and accusing the people in the shop of cow slaughter and the sale of beef, assaulted them and vandalised the shop. The three attackers were arrested by the police. A group of 50 people came out on the street next day demanding ‘equal’ action against Usman Qureshi, the complainant and the dairy shop owner.
On May 26, a young man identified as Mohammad Qasim was reportedly shot at in Begusarai (Bihar). The attacker identified as Rajiv Yadav first asked his name and then opened fire at him saying he should live in Pakistan. The incident took place in Kumbhi village under Cheria-Bariyarpur police station of the district.