By Akhlad Khan – Twitter @BawaNaaved
A 35-year-old Muslim driver of a pick-up van was mercilessly beaten up by vigilantes in Mathura’s Raal village of Uttar Pradesh state, on Sunday night, over suspicion of ‘ferrying beef and smuggling cattle’ in his vehicle.
Several videos of the driver, identified as Mohammad Aamir, being thrashed by 2-3 men with belts while his shirt had been ripped off surfaced on social media on Monday. The man was seen in the video begging the perpetrators to stop.
SP (City) MP Singh said the van, which was heading to Hathras’s Sikandrarao from Mathura’s Govardhan, was intercepted by local residents and vigilantes from a right-wing outfit in Raal village. However, during the preliminary investigation, nothing, except some animal carcasses for which Aamir had a license, was found in the van, Singh said. The suspects allegedly held the driver hostage and beat him up brutally, he added.
Two other men were also beaten up by the local residents over suspicion of their links with the van driver, said the SP, adding that they rescued all the three men from the mob and sent them immediately for medical treatment.
According to a Times of India report, Aamir had received bruises on his face and shoulder. “He did not suffer any major injuries,” doctors said.
The SP (City) further said that two FIRs (First Information Report) have been registered in the matter at Jait police station. One was lodged on a complaint filed by Aamir while the other was given by Vikas Sharma, convener of Gau Raksha Vibhag of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).
Police said that 16 identified people, including Vikash Sharma and Balram Thakur from VHP, and some unidentified persons were booked under relevant IPC (Indian Penal Code) sections, including 307 (attempted murder), on a complaint filed by Aamir.
In the FIR, Aamir stated that “Sharma and Thakur intercepted his vehicle in Raal village and after knowing that animal carcasses were being taken to Hathras, they began beat him badly.”
Meanwhile, Sharma, in his complaint, accused local residents of Raal village of beating him up along with his associate Balram Thakur, who is secretary of the committee, over suspicion of their involvement with Aamir. Fourteen identified and 150 unidentified people were booked under relevant IPC sections on Sharma’s complaint.