“They beat me till I almost became unconscious. My beard was pulled and they stole 2,200 rupees from my pocket. Then one of them threw me off the train at Moradabad railway station. I was offered some clothes at the station by a stranger,” said Asim Hussain.
Ghazala Ahmad | Clarion India
NEW DELHI - As Padmavat Express was leaving Hapur Junction, Asim Hussain, a Muslim businessman travelling on Friday from Delhi to Moradabad, came in for a rude shock.
“At least 10 persons boarded the train from Hapur railway station and started creating a ruckus. All of a sudden one of them started yelling ‘Ye Mulla chor hai’ (This Mulla is a thief).”
What came after it is Hussain’s ordeal, something which he cannot forget all through his life.
Hussain alleged that he was assaulted, beaten black and blue and forced to chant ‘Jai Shree Ram’ by the Hindutva goons.
‘Jai Shree Ram’ is a religious slogan turned war cry and is used by Hindutva chauvinists while targeting Muslims as has been reported in several cases of mob lynching.
Hussain was repeatedly thrashed when he resisted their demand of chanting the slogan. He was called ‘Mulla,’ a term often used to refer to a Muslim in a derogatory manner. Other epithets like ‘katwa’ (circumcised) were also thrown at Hussain.
Recounting his ordeal to the media on Saturday, Hussain said as he resisted chanting the Hindu slogan he was stripped, thrown on the floor and then beaten mercilessly with a belt.
“They beat me till I almost became unconscious. My beard was pulled and they stole 2,200 rupees from my pocket. Then one of them threw me off the train at Moradabad railway station. I was offered some clothes at the station by a stranger,” said Hussain.
Hussain doesn’t personally know any of his assailants but claims he can recognize them. A video of the incident has also gone viral on social media.
The deputy superintendent of Railway Police at Moradabad tweeted a video of his statement on his official handle and informed that action has been initiated against two persons.
“We have received information of the incident and appropriate action has been taken against those who assaulted the man,” the police officer said.
However, Aparna Gupta, Government Railway Police SP in Moradabad, has another story to tell.
“Asim Hussain approached us 24 hours after the incident took place. An FIR was also registered on his complaint and two assaulters were arrested and a probe has been initiated,” she told Clarion India.
“Our investigation has found that Asim Hussain was not beaten for resisting the demand to chant Jai Shree Ram. He was seen misbehaving with some passengers and was, therefore, beaten by the group,” she added.
The officer refused to reveal the names of the assaulters when pressed by Clarion India. She also declined to provide a copy of the FIR filed by Hussain.
Photo: Asim Hussain who was stripped to the waist, assaulted by his co passengers while travelling from Delhi to Pratapgarh in Padmavat Express. — Screengrab from video